THE BEST ADVICE I’ve received!!

In the tumultuous landscape of 2020, adapting to remote work brought both flexibility and challenges. With changing hours and a home-bound routine, maintaining focus became a formidable task. Amidst this chaos, the best advice I received was to create a “Not-To-Do List.”

Understanding the Not-To-Do List:

A Not-To-Do List is a strategic tool designed to keep you focused on the essential aspects of your life, business, and career. It is a compilation of tasks that you deliberately choose not to do. These tasks are either deleted, delegated, outsourced, or outright rejected if they attempt to infiltrate your to-do list.

Why You Need a Not-To-Do List:

Your to-do list can easily become overwhelming, especially if you struggle with saying no or delegating tasks. A well-crafted not-to-do list helps maintain better focus, ensuring that you dedicate your time to tasks that create the most significant value. It encourages a realistic approach, aiming to focus on essential tasks at least 80% of the time.

What Goes on Your Not-To-Do List:

Your not-to-do list should include:

  1. Tasks that emotionally drain you.
  2. Weak spots where you struggle to say no.
  3. Distractions hindering productivity.
  4. Tasks regularly surfacing but can be deleted, delegated, or outsourced.
  5. Other people’s responsibilities.
  6. Low-impact tasks that obstruct high-value production.
  7. Bad habits to eliminate.
  8. Unnecessary tasks or things.
  9. Elements beyond your control.

Creating Your Not-To-Do List:

  1. Make the List: Dedicate time to list tasks and elements you deliberately choose not to engage in.
  2. Retrospection: Analyze past tasks and recurring patterns. Identify tasks impacting your future and evaluate their added value.
  3. Task Analysis: Assess the impact, delegate potential, and your emotional response to recurring tasks.
  4. Identify Low-Level Tasks: Recognize tasks and distractions consuming more time than warranted.
  5. Prepare Templates: Craft polite decline templates to ease the process of saying no.
  6. Regular Review: Revisit your not-to-do list quarterly to add or remove tasks based on changes in your life situation.

Embrace Focus for Success:

As you navigate your workweek, consider implementing the not-to-do list concept. Instead of solely outlining tasks you will perform, specify tasks you consciously won’t undertake. This approach alleviates pressure, allowing you to concentrate on pivotal tasks while fortifying your decision-making muscle.

In the words of Steve Jobs, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.

Redirect your energy towards what truly matters. Success thrives on focus, and the not-to-do list can be your guiding compass in that journey.