Your To Don’t List

Todays blog is going to be a bit more practical than normal.


To Do Lists.


We hate them. We love them. And we love to hate them.


Many of us live by them. Whether written down, in an app, noted on our phone or just cluttering up our thoughts - it seems the to do list goes on and on with no end.


Yet it feels so satisfying to check those items off.


At least it does for me. 


And at my current job, it seems I am constantly checking items off and adding more at the same time. I sometimes wonder if it will ever be completely done. (Probably not).


So when I saw this idea of creating a To Don’t List I was at first confused, then intrigued and then surprised by how genius and yet simple it was.


Everyone has things they know they shouldn’t be doing. The things that fill our time and lead us to think at the end of the day, “Where did my day go? How did I get nothing done?”. 


You know exactly what I’m talking about.


We all have our time wasters - the things we do out of habit or because we don’t want to think or because it will only take a minute - but instead end up taking one hour, a few hours or an entire day.


We also all have choices we know aren’t in our best interest - that we do anyway. Whether its going out drinking when we know we have responsibilities the next day. Or staying up watching TV series until 3am when we need to wake up at 6. Or even choosing to do something other than that thing we know needs to get done - like now.


We have To Don’t List items related to our personal goals. For example, when trying to lose weight we know that rather than sitting around drinking beer and watching football all day - that it may be better to be active outside and eat a salad instead. Or if we’re trying to start a business - it can be a better choice to work on our latest blog post rather than watching movies with friends. Or if we are always tired, it may be better to get to bed an hour earlier, rather than cleaning the house.


All of these things apply.


And for each one of us it is personal.


There is no one right or wrong To Don’t List.


We each have our own based on our personal desires, goals and what we want out of life.


So maybe it’s time we each sit down and really consider what is getting in the way of us pursuing our goals and make our own To Don’t List.


I know I will.


In fact, the more aware I’ve become of the To Don’t List, the more I’ve caught onto the number of undesirable activities I have in my own life. The things I use to distract or numb myself. The things I use to validate myself that take up unnecessary time. The things I procrastinate with. The things I know don’t take me a single step towards any of my goals. 


It is time I’m honest with myself, point these things out, and consciously choose to avoid them.


So the next time I lie on the couch thinking I will scroll through Facebook for only a minute - which always ends up taking much longer than that - instead I will recognize it as one of my To Don’t List items and instead do something that I know will make a difference in my life and take me a step closer to my goals. Like going out on a run or working on my website or reading a book I’ve recently picked up or spending time with God.


Because I know when I reach the end of the day, I will be much happier with myself if I chose to do something progressive towards my goals rather than realize I spent my day on social media (like I did this past Saturday - stupid me!). I will feel more accomplished and like I did something that mattered.


That moves me forward.


That changes me for the better and allows for progression.


As we all know, we never stop changing. Change is good and it is inevitable - so we may as well be changing towards the life we want to live and who God made us to be - rather than staying the same or regressing. 


And if you’re a goal driven individual like me, then you have likely heard some version of this quote,


“It’s not about “having” time. It’s about making time.”


And if that is the case, then this is the perfect way to make sure you utilize the 24 hours you have been gifted each day to their fullest potential. Because we’ve all been given the same 24 hours - and it really comes down to how you use it.


So what will you add to your To Don't List? Let me know in the comments below.