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Do you have a “Not To Do” List?

Mar 02, 2022

Do you have a “not to do” list? If you don’t, you should consider it! A “not to do" list is a list of things you are trying not to do at all, or not to do at certain times of your day / week, so that you are freed up to focus on other things. We all live in a world where there is a finite amount of time yet it seems like some people are higher achievers, get more done, or seem to have more time for fun and relaxation. Why is that when we all have the same twenty-four hours in our day?

I don’t believe that everyone who seems to be getting the results they want in their life is grinding it out each day, not sleeping, or that they have superhuman powers. I believe the reason is that they have clarity and prioritize what they want to get out of each day, week, month, and year. They are saying “yes” to the things they want more of in their lives and saying “no” to the things that don’t move them towards what they truly want. If this is true, the first thing you need to do is to ask yourself, “What do I want most in my life?” and “How do I want to feel on a regular basis?” Before you start driving, you want to be clear about where you are going, right?. You should want this for your life too. When you know this, you will gain more clarity about what you need to do to get there, as well as what types of things can throw you off course.

This will look different for each of us. It is also likely that your answers to the two questions above may change depending on what season or chapter of life you are in. Sometimes you may be more focused on achieving in your career. At other times, you may be focused more on your children, on a romantic relationship, on charitable work, on having more fun and laughter, on improving your finances, on relaxing more, or on your health. There is no right or wrong answer for your “not to do list” as long as the things on the list would pull you away from your answers to the questions “What do I want most in my life?” and “How do I want to feel on a regular basis?” 

As an example, if you were trying to build a business or advance in your career, items on your “not to do” list may include:

“I am not going to…”

  • Waste time scrolling on social media.
  • Watch more than X hours of television per week.
  • Worry about making everyone else happy all the time.
  • Stay up too late and not getting enough sleep.
  • Eat or drink things that do not help energize me.
  • Hit the snooze button.
  • Sit in indecision and overwhelm.

Another example would be if you were wanting to focus on creating a stronger relationship with a partner your “not to do” list may include:

“I am not going to…”

  • Be critical of small things.
  • Sit and watch television every night by myself.
  • Expect that they will know what I want or need without my telling them.
  • React to situations without thinking.
  • Take them for granted.
  • Complain about them to my friends.
  • Assume they know how much I care without my telling them.
  • Assume what they need from me without asking.
  • Prioritize other people or things over them.
  • Compare my relationship to the relationships of other people.

When you are aware of both the things you want to do (your “to do” list) as well as the things you no longer want to do (your “not to do” list), you can achieve results faster. You will be opening up space to bring in more of what moves you towards your goal and the feelings you want to experience more, while moving away from the things that can get in the way. Instead of taking two steps forward and one step back, you will just keep taking steps forward so you will reach your goal faster. You will likely also enjoy the process more because you will be focused on the things that ultimately matter most to you.


So, take some time to ask yourself “What do I want most in my life?” and “How do I want to feel on a regular basis?” Then, based on that, you can create a “to do” list to start moving you forward, but don’t forget to also create that important “not to do” list. You’ve got this!

Live your best boss lady life.

~ Karen

 Karen Vincent Solutions

If you are interested in some more information about ways of getting the results you want in your life faster, sign up for a free coaching consultation session with me by clicking HERE.

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