I Need a To-Stop-Doing List
Friday, December 28
Changing Potentially Destructive Habits -
If you are like most of us, you have a to-do list you mark off as items are competed. I have been using to-do lists in some form or another (handwritten, computer generated, PDA, or phone) for many years. Author Chris Guillebeau advocates a To-Stop-Doing List.
In Gillebeau’s words “Your to-stop-doing-list is exactly what it sounds like: a list of things you simply don’t want to do anymore.” Energy draining tasks, time wasters, and efforts that don’t contribute to your overall goals, are among the suggestions. Your to-stop-doing list needs to be uniquely your own. You are the only one who knows your daily routines and practices.
As for me, my to-stop-doing list includes:
Watching Television – The male population in the United States between 40 and 55 years of age watches an average of 4.5 hours of television each day. Just think of what you could do with those same hours!
Abusing E-mail – This includes checking for incoming e-mails too often and reading e-mails that just aren’t useful. I’m limiting my check of incoming e-mails to twice a day (and telling everyone of this practice by way of an autoresponder) and eliminating e-mails through greater attention to subject headings and sender name. According to author Bill Jensen you can delete up to 75% of your e-mails through the use of e-mail scanning strategies.
Getting Lost in Internet Searches - I’m guilty of going off on Internet search tangents if I don’t write down a quick note stating what I’m searching for and why. The and why part is critical for me. I could keep searching forever because I thoroughly enjoy researching topics. However, to be an efficient researcher I need to set time limits and stick to them.
Of course my to-stop-doing list is longer than three items. Gillebeau encourages us to come up with at least three to five things that you currently do but should stop doing.
Is that the sound of New Years’ resolutions approaching?