What you don’t do determines what you can do. Tim Ferriss
Feel like you are treading water to stay afloat? Are demands on your life leaving you feeling besieged and depleted? One remedy is the ‘Don’t List’. Most of us need to say NO more (however, there are some of us who need to say Yes more. I highly recommend a TED talk on the subject). Where a ‘to-do’ list is expansive, a ‘Don’t List’ is contractive, narrowing and boundary-defining. At the heart of the ‘Don’t List’ is the 80/20 Pareto Principle, which reminds us that 80% of our success comes from 20% of our actions. The‘Don’t List’ is about naming the other 80% of our actions for what they are – not crucial – and finding ways to resolve our entanglements with them.
Identify the things that percolate in your head that you know are not good uses of your time/energy. Here is a sample of several ‘DON’T LISTS’ that have helped others liberate themselves from negative bandwidth:
- Blame others for my circumstances.
- Serve as an officer in the PTA, again.
- Allow jealously to devour me. When it comes, it’s a sign my goals are not engaging enough, so double down on making my own goals happen.
- Spend time with Frenemies – those that leave me feeling ‘less-than’, small, or discouraged.
- Experience Road Rage- approach driving with acceptance and kindness.
- Do things that interfere with attending my daughter’s soccer game.
- Ruminate on the past (or host revenge fantasies). Instead, work on radical acceptance of what is.
- Feel beholden to anybody: I am in the land of choice.
- Accept invitations that cause me to feel resentful.
- Spend time worrying about things outside of my circle of influence.
- Use email/texts for any conflict-laden communication.
- Gossip. Rather only engage in positive gossip, e.g. saying kind words after a person leaves the room.
- Hang out with those friends who do drugs and eat junk.
- Raise my voice/sarcasm with people I love.
- Look at emails/social media outside of scheduled times.
15 June 2016