Why You Need a To Don’t List
October 22, 2010 Leave a comment
My recent post about To Do Lists missed probably the most important aspect of how such a list helps you be more effective. The best feature of a To Do list is that it also serves as a To Don’t list. In my To Do list, tasks without dates come to represent actions I want to remember, but not necessarily ever do.
Being productive is one of the keys to being effective, but productivity only helps if you are are doing the right things. Having a To Do list and getting stuff done is a start, but recording things you may do and actively choosing not to do them is just as important.
Recording potential tasks and not targeting them for action helps identify the Must do’s from the Could, Should and Won’t do’s. We all have many more tasks we would like to do than there are hours in the day. Using a To Do (and To Don’t) list will help ensure you stay focussed on the important and urgent tasks that will make a real difference. The Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) will help take care of the rest.
What is on your To Don’t list? Mine currently includes purchasing a mountain bike (which I will probably never ride) and updating my C.V. (that will probably be out of date again by the time I need it).