Nearly every time management system advocates to-do lists in some form to help keep us on track. Consider turning that advice on its head and make a do-not-do list instead.
Photo by peekandeat.
Success Magazine blogger Chelsea Greenwood says to-do lists can be helpful, but only to a point. Eventually, they can get so long and unwieldy they start to take over our lives and sap our energy to get anything done. After all, who wants to confront a mile-long list of tasks staring them in the face?
Instead, take a hard look at how you spend your day and try to identify where your giant black holes of time are. Too many coffee breaks? Too much time spent surfing productivity sites (though we'll give you a free pass on that)? Once you figure out where your time sinks are, write yourself a do-not-do list so you minimise how much time you spend doing things that aren't particularly productive.
Depending on how drastic your findings are, implementing your do-not-do list may require persistence and teamwork. Post the list in one or more visible areas to remind yourself what you should not be doing, and enlist the support of co-workers, friends or loved ones to keep you on track.
Now, no one's recommending that you never take a break or waste time during the day — everybody needs a little down time. Instead, use your do-not-do list as a way to stay focused on your goals and realise that the more time you spend avoiding things on your new list bring you that much closer to getting where you want to be.
Hit up the post for tips on how to develop your do-not-do list. Do you keep a list like this? Does it help keep you on track? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The Productivity Dilemma: To Do or Not to Do? [Success Magazine]