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4 Things You Can Stop Doing Today

The following post is from Lisa of Working Naked:

Yesterday while I was waiting in line at a store, a little boy threw a fit. His mom told him to do something and he kept saying, “I don’t have to!” while he stomped his feet. Two candy bars later, the mom convinced him to do what she asked. That’s one kid who has a strong future in negotiating!

Working for yourself involves having to do things you want to do, have to do and hate to do…even when there’s no candy involved.

Fortunately there are a few things you don’t have to do, including:

Abandon unrealistic or impossible to reach goals.

Alternative: First, create specific goals. How can you reach a goal if you’re not clear about what it is? Next, review your goals and adjust any that seem too far-fetched. Then finalize your list and make sure the tasks on your to-do list match your goals. If not, either change your goals or change your tasks. Take the time to review and adjust your goals every six months.

Adapt to a planning system that’s too frustrating to use.

Alternative: Decide whether you’re going to use a paper-based system, software, or an app for your smartphone, that makes it easy for you to plan your days, and is flexible enough to work for you. Keep in mind that planning systems are created by only a few individuals to help thousands of people become more productive. If the planning system you’re using isn’t working for you, find one that meets your needs and helps you save time, not waste it.

Agonize over decisions you need to make.

Alternative: Instead of being what I call a “Teeter Totter,” consider all of your options before you make a decision. You can go so far as to list the good and bad points and the consequences of each option, and then make a decision. If your first solution doesn’t work out as planned, go for plan B. Having a backup plan makes it easier to make a decision.

Allow others to walk all over you.

Alternative: Keep track of how many times you say yes when you should say no. Almost every time I say yes when I really mean no, I think of the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished.” Don’t be afraid to say no, especially when you don’t have a minute to spare. There will always be exceptions, but when you say yes to one thing, something else has to give. There’s nothing wrong with being selfish with your time. Time is one commodity that you can’t replace.

As the old saying goes, “There are only two things you have to do in your life: die and pay taxes.” Now you can add a few more things to that saying that you don’t have to do.

What have you stopped doing and how has it made a difference in your life?

Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of and the author of five books about working from home, including her new book, Organize Your Home Office For Succcess. Lisa works with entrepreneurs and home-based employees through seminars and individual consultations, to create functional home offices that meet each individual’s working style.