How to Free Yourself with a No-Do List

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

source: fotogail

We all have our daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists. But what about a No-Do List?

What’s that? Well, quite simply a no-do list is a list of activities that you resolve NOT to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It is a list of things that have a negative impact on your life, time, and relationships.

A No-Do List is Personal and Subjective:

Your to-do list is probably very different from your partner’s or colleague’s. Similarly, a no-do list is also different, personal, and subjective. What you may consider a time-waster, someone else may consider recreational. So, create your no-do list based on what’s important (or not important) for you and your family.

A No-Do List is Not Negative:

Having a no-do list does not mean you are a negative person. In fact, you’re being quite positive. Positive about reclaiming lost time, positive about doing more with your life, and positive about saying “yes” to things that matter.

A No-Do List is a Habit-Breaker:

Let’s face it, we all have our little time wasters. And there’s nothing wrong with that…if you want to waste time. However, if you wish you had more time to pursue what you love, then you need to break your habits. A no-do list will help you do that!

Here are four items that might be part of your no-do list:

1. Watching Re-Runs:

I’m not against watching television. In fact, I often enjoy an episode of Castle or Psych. However, I don’t recommend watching TV re-runs.

To be fair, I’ve done my share of re-run watching. However, when I realized I was wasting 30 minutes watching something I’d already seen instead of reading, baking, blogging, etc. I stopped and put it on my no-do list.

If you are spending wasted time in front of the television, consider putting it your no-do list and instead, tackle something on your to-do list.

2. Wasting Time Online:

Have you ever sat down to write an email and still been there thirty minutes later? Not because you didn’t know what to write, but because you got distracted by Facebook, Twitter, an interesting blog posts (like this one!), or just chatting with a friend who happened to be online.

Again, as someone who loves Twitter and reading blogs, I understand. Trust me, I’ve been there more than once! This is on my no-do list because tweeting, browsing, and chatting are surefire ways to get less done — especially when I should actually be working.

3. Saying Yes…to Everything:

Will you volunteer at the school bake sale this Friday? Sure.

Will you stay late at work this week? No problem.

Will you visit extended family over the weekend? Absolutely.

These aren’t separate instances. This is one person in one week. Add all this extra stuff to the regular activities a mom has to do and boom! Super-stressed soul.

Saying yes to everything and everyone is easy but it puts you, your life, and your family in a really tight spot. Now imagine, if you said “no” to two of those activities. Put this on your no-do list and see how it liberates you.

4. Pursuing Perfection:

As a closet perfectionist who arranged her glassware according to size, type, and use, this was the toughest no-do list item for me. I had to consciously remind myself that it’s alright if my plates aren’t stacked according to color, and that the world wouldn’t come to an end if my spice rack wasn’t alphabetized.

Pursuing perfection is awesome when it enhances who you are but when it ends up draining the life out of you and your relationships, it’s time to step back and rethink.

These time-wasters are just some of MY no-dos. What might YOURS be?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.