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My not-to-do list

I am a list maker.

All my life I have been making lists. To-do lists, to-read lists, to-learn lists, bucket lists (in other words travel destinations list), but I never made the most important list of all.

A not-to-do list.

Our lives are a constant struggle of fitting things in a day. We constantly complain that we don’t have enough time to do all the things we want to do and yet we keep piling up more. There are so many things that demand our time and attention. Since we can’t do them all we prioritize and leaving a pile of unfinished things for later. Constantly doing that leave us in a state of discontent.

That is what I have been experiencing at the moment.

I have a huge pile of things that I was keeping in the ‘when I retire bucket’. As I did ‘retire’ (or ‘finished paid work’ as I like to call it) I thought I will have all the time in the world to do them.

The trouble is I am getting even less done.

Even with an extra eight hours on hand, I still find I don’t have enough time to follow my passions.

Rather than doing one thing at a time, I have been trying to do them all, making schedule after schedule, allocating blocks of time to each hobby, each activity, each thing I ever wanted to do.

Until today.

I was rushing through the day when I stopped long enough to ask myself why I am doing this.

Why I am making my day so stressful by packing so much in it.

It was not long after when a fellow blogger, Melyssa Griffin, reported a total burnout. Her doctor told her to slow down or bear lasting damage. Already a successful blogger and solopreneur at a very young age, Melyssa was fighting back her feeling of discontent and unfulfillment by adding more work to her plate. She thought she needed better time management skills.

While I am nowhere near where Melyssa was when she took six months to break, but I am beginning to understand that I need to manage my own expectations.

Many times we are harder on ourselves than we are on other people.

The way to treat ourselves with kindness and compassion is to get in touch with our inner-self and find out what really matters to us.

I did that by creating a not-to-do. The things I will never do from now on.

Are there things which you don’t want to do? They don’t have to be about your workload. They can be about your choices in your life.

A not-to-do list can bring more clarity in your life than a to-do list.

Try it. It might be a life-changer.

  1. Stefan says:

    Guilty as charged. Lists, lists and then sub lists of lists. I must admit I get immense satisfaction crossing-off an item that has been competed. But there are more undone than done jobs. I still make lists. On the plus side, I don’t forget what needs doing and there are a couple of deadlines looming and I’ve become focused on getting them done although have left the deadlines a bit too close for comfort. Lists become a way for me to think I’m getting on with the job when the real issue is having the right mindset to just do them. I could finish them if I have the right mindset.

    1. NEERA says:

      I like crossing off items of my list too. But Not-to-do list is permanent. I will only be adding to it.

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