I’ve been working from a to-do list for years. I learned early on in my schooling that lists were like my friends, reminding me to stay on task, and prioritize. Without a list, I am prone to overstuff my brain and forget things.
I’m currently in the process of teaching this to my daughter, who has struggled with staying organized in middle school.
Through our talks, I’ve been reminded of all of the benefits of a to-do list, the main one being that writing things down to remember to do, frees up my mind from the anxiety I inevitably struggle with when I’m afraid of forgetting something.
I think to-do lists are great, but I’m also beginning to see the benefit in keeping a NOT to-do list; a list of the things that get in the way of accomplishing the things you do want, and need, to do.
Whether it’s not getting on Facebook until after lunch, not answering the phone during time set aside for writing, not spending all day in pajamas, not accepting certain types of projects, or not being around people that pull you down, having a list that you’ve thought through will help you stay on track with what you do need to be doing, and what is more likely to propel you towards your goals.
How to create a “Not to” list
Look at your current to-do list, and your recent calendar. This is a great starting place for determining where your time is being spent unnecessarily or unwisely.
Your Not to-do list may not even be the same every day – it may change, depending on what is on your to-do list. Look at them working together to create balance in your life.
Clutter is Clutter
So often, we are so focused on what we need/have to do, that we forget to think about the things that we don’t, and it usually is those things that are the real stumbling blocks.
Remember, clutter is clutter, whether it’s physical or mental.
Do you have a “NOT to-do” list? If you don’t, have you considered making one? Do you think creating one would be helpful?