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Do You Have A To-Don’t List? Here’s Why We All need One

Posted: January 11, 2021
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What do you need to stop doing? Here’s an urgent call (and a to-don’t list) to stop the madness of hyper-productivity.

As a life coach, what I was hearing from a lot from my clients towards the end of 2020, was frustration; they were frustrated with being unable to perform to their previous levels of productivity, with a calm and open mind.

It was almost as if they were in a fog they couldn’t see their way out of, or a swamp where their legs kept getting stuck, despite their best efforts.

We’re busy. We are all goal-oriented people who thrive on getting things done. But 2020 has been a year unlike any other we’ve seen and hopefully, we won’t see another like this for the duration of our lifetimes!

Yet, somehow, as a collective the world over, we have made the association that staying at home 24/7 means we need to have more to show at the end of it. Hyper-productivity and output have never been more valued and celebrated. Never before has there been a fear of letting time ‘go to waste’ or of not being productive and having something to show at the end of the lockdown.

But, when we focus too much on doing the things we need to do, we forget that some part of the mind is still occupied with thoughts that may be bogging us down or tasks that may be unimportant at that specific time.

Enter, a to-don’t list

Ever been on a treadmill? You run for an hour and sure, the machine tells you the calories burned and distance covered, but you didn’t actually get anywhere, did you? To-do lists can sometimes feel like that.

If you feel you aren’t getting things done, the answer is not to add more things to your to-do list but to stop doing certain things that may be holding you back. Essentially, what you are doing is training your mind to live your life more intentionally.

Here are a few things from my To-Don’t list to help you get started.

  • Don’t scroll mindlessly on social media
  • Don’t compulsively reach for my phone if I don’t have any calls to make or texts to send
  • Stop stewing in bad feelings if something is annoying me
  • Don’t expend too much emotions on past mistakes
  • Don’t hold back from sharing your views in that meeting
  • Don’t brush off a compliment
  • Don’t agree to do anything that doesn’t add value to me
  • Don’t wait for the perfect time to start anything
  • Don’t spend time in what ‘could have been’
  • Don’t celebrate only the big moments

This New Year, try and make a list of things you will consciously stop doing and see how much time and mind space it can free up for you!

Image credits: Andrea Piacquiado via Pexels

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I am a life coach - I help empower women to step out of their 'should'

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