If you’re a list maker, I am going to assume you’re great at adding things to your lists and maybe not so great at listing all the things you need to stop doing.
I am also going to make some assumptions about you based on my own experience as a chronic list-maker…
If You’re A List-Maker:
You have big ideas and some really important projects you’ve been trying to get to for years but your time is a precious resource and there doesn’t seem to be enough of it each day.
So sadly, those projects remain on your list of things to do, and you continue to feel bad and maybe even frustrated that you’re unable to find time to do those things.
This is likely because you are spending too much time, focus, and energy on old habits that you need to stop.
When it comes to looking at everything you have on your plate, I am a fan of the 3D approach, combined with taking a time tracking inventory of how you spend your day and an honest look at what your priorities really are.
Let’s start with the 3D approach because it’s simple and easy to do.
- Do it
- Delegate it
- Ditch it
The best way to approach the 3D methodology is to start with a brain dump where you create a master list of all the things you want to do. You need to identify the things you want to keep and do yourself, the things you want to delegate to someone else (read Who Not How to get great at this) and the things you need to ditch.
You know what those ditch items are right?
They are the things that make you go directly to either the pantry for a snack (because we all need a snack when we are avoiding a task) or to your favourite social media channel because next to a snack, a distraction is perfectly acceptable for avoiding an activity.
Once you’ve done this, the next step is to do an honest inventory of where you spend your time and to ask yourself, is this how I want to spend my time?
There are two things I’ve stopped doing that have had a remarkable impact on my time, not to mention my mindset.
I removed Facebook from my phone, and instead of checking it several times per hour, I only check it a couple of times a day from my computer. This one simple thing allows me to focus more on work and has eliminated many of the emotional triggers experienced when reading some of the things being shared on this platform.
The second thing I stopped doing is watching television in the bedroom. Seven years ago, I realized that when we visited the cottage, it was much easier to fall asleep than it was at home. I realized that at home, we watched television in bed, and the last thing that I consumed before sleep was the news which didn’t make for an easy slumber to follow.
Now, I read before bed, and I sleep much better than before.
We all have habits that distract us and take time away from things we consider to be important in life. When you do a time tracking inventory, you look at the things you do each day and ask yourself what’s adding value, and what isn’t. The goal is to identify habits and or tasks you want to stop and to consciously choose to eliminate these things.What habits take time away from what's important to you? Doing a time tracking inventory. Look at what you do each day & ask what's adding value & what isn't. You can identify habits you want to stop & eliminate them. Click To Tweet
All of this is anchored in one thing that many people struggle with; prioritization.
When you look at your to-do list and you assess where you’re spending your time, you want to ask yourself if what you are doing is aligned with your most important priorities.
The more disciplined you become at doing things that are aligned with your priorities and stopping activities that are not, the greater and faster you’ll start to see results in your life and business.
What just popped into your head (and made you want a snack) that you need to stop doing?
1 thought on “Create a Stop Doing List”
Great article, Lisa!
That question, “What do I need to stop doing?” Gets right to the heart of our unconscious actions. Things that we are doing that go against our inner values (or sometimes, sabotage our efforts).
The first thing that came to mind for me is saving & spending money according to my values and priorities – saving up for things rather than paying them off after purchase. We always pay all our expenses on time and never keep a credit balance, but what a difference it would make to me if I were to switch this small thing around! I’d feel less anxious, more in control, proud of myself, inspired to keep doing it…
Time to stop!