Our success and happiness are based as much on what we choose NOT to do as what we choose to do. What things in your life keep you from doing other things that you’ve identified as priorities? Which of your behaviors tend to thwart your goals?
If you have trouble with follow through on your highest priorities, make a “NOT-To-Do” list (a fantastic Peter Bregman idea).Our success and happiness are based as much on what we choose NOT to do as what we choose to do. Click To Tweet
When we aren’t clear about what we don’t want to do, the things we don’t want to do often end up distracting us from our higher priorities. For example, nurturing my teens is one of my top priorities. As part of this, I want to spend more time hanging out with my kids after dinner and after they finish their homework. Ideally, I’ll spend 20 minutes with each of them one-on-one. But instead, I often get pulled into my email or back into my work, and poof! Just like that, the time is gone, and the opportunity missed. (Now that my daughters Fiona and Macie are away at school, I’m painfully aware of how fleeting and precious that time is.)
So under the priority labeled “Nurture my family and close relationships,” I’ve written: Don’t go back to work after dinner if the kids are at home. I have similar “NOT-to-do” items under each priority.
By being explicit about what I’m NOT going to do–by actually writing these things down–I’m increasing the odds that I’ll spend my time on the things that matter most to me.By being explicit about what I’m NOT going to do–by actually writing these things down–I’m increasing the odds that I’ll spend my time on the things that matter most to me. Click To Tweet
Now it’s your turn: Spend this next week noticing the behaviors and activities that sabotage the way that you spend your time. Each time you notice yourself doing something that thwarts a better behavior, add it to your “Not-To-Do” list here:
If you are just joining us, you might want to check out some related activities. Before you make a NOT-to-do list, it helps to:
2) Re-organize your to-do list according to your top priorities.
See Unit 2: CHOOSE in my free Science of Finding Flow online course for more information about how to live your life according to your highest priorities.
As always, let me know what questions you have in the comment section!
This post is from a series about how we choose to spend our time in my online course, Science of Finding Flow, an online course I created as a companion to my book The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. I’m sharing “lessons” from this online class here, on my blog. Want to see previous posts? Just click this The Science of Finding Flow tag. Enjoy!