Monday, August 5, 2013

What About a To-Don't List?

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I've seen a few references to "to-don't" lists recently.

Do you have one?

They are suggested by those who offer tips on time management, achieving your dreams, and being successful.

I found it rather clever. As one who loves list-making and list-finishing, a to-don't list sounded like a fun challenge.

As I began contemplating a to-don't list, I realized just how helpful it could be.

While to-do lists make way for all the things we want to give time to, a to-don't list will shut the door on things that try to creep in and steal that time.

While a to-do list may give us permission to say yes, a to-don't list gives us permission to say no.

While a to-do list may feel routine and boring, a to-don't list can remind us to be faithful to what is important.

I also discovered a to-don't list can be hard to create when there are things floating in the grey-area of time...things not on my to-do, but I still do...things that seem neither harmful nor or don't?

I ended up making a "to-limit" list. It's a start right?

Then I felt guilty that I couldn't come up with any definite to-don'ts, like all these other people who seem to be on the cutting edge of time management and self-improvement. But God showed me my first one:

1. Don't compare yourself to others.

Perfect. Because usually when I start doing that, I end up adding unnecessary to-dos to my list.

Eventually more ideas flowed and some of my limits turned into don'ts...

2. Don't subscribe to another website, blog, or email list without unsubscribing to a current one first.

3. Don't hop on Facebook in every free moment; avoid it especially in the evenings (unless looking for/responding to a time-sensitive message).

4. Don't answer every phone call/text/email immediately (unless it's urgent).

5. Don't say yes without consulting your to-do list first.

6. Don't take on more than one or two special projects a month.

7. Don't watch, read or listen to things that drain energy (entertainment/news).

8. Don't entertain thoughts that are not from God.

...I'm sure I'll come up with more as time goes on. And some won't even have to be on the list anymore because not doing them will be so routine. (Won't that be nice!)

The main goal of all of this is to have more energy accomplish my to-dos with greater excellence.

But not by anyone else's standards, of course.

Do you have a to-don't list? I'm curious to know (without comparison) what's on it!