Have you ever gotten through a busy day just to discover that your to-do list is still a mile long? I have, too. It doesn’t mean that you and I don’t do enough or that we don’t do it fast enough, it simply means that our to-do list is unrealistic. One way to start redesigning your to-do list is to create a stop-doing list.
To make time for what’s important. As much as we’d love to do everything, we can’t. To make space for the things that we really want to do, we have to say “no” to something else.
To make it easier to say “no”. Automatically saying “yes” to everything is a difficult habit to break and that’s where the stop-doing list helps. When the thing you’re asked to do is on it, a light of recognition flashes as soon as you hear the request and it’s enough to make you stop, think and respond differently.
To feel better about yourself. When you’ve thought about it beforehand and you’ve figured out what’s important to you and what isn’t, there’s less room for questioning every decision you made. You can move forward with confidence and the more you accomplish, the better you’ll feel about yourself and your ability to do things.
What could go on your stop-doing list?
Look through your current to-do list. Are there any tasks there that you don’t want to do, but you couldn’t get out of? Or tasks that you don’t even know why they’re there? Put them on your stop-doing list.
What about things that you do as a matter of habit but they don’t add value to your life, like checking Facebook every 5 minutes or staying up late? Add them to your list, too. Consider updating your stop-doing list every time you find yourself asking: “Why am I doing this?”