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How to Create Your Don't Do List for Increased Productivity

To-do lists and dopamine

It is important to many people to have their to-do lists. It keeps them organized and in rack. When a task in the list is being accomplished, dose of dopamine in the brain which is responsible for being motivated. However, it is not enough to just create a to-do list, but also a "to-don't" list.

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How to Create Your Don't Do List for Increased Productivity

How to Create Your Don't Do List for Increased Productivity

https://officedynamics.com/create-dont-list-increased-productivity/

officedynamics.com

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Key Ideas

To-do lists and dopamine

It is important to many people to have their to-do lists. It keeps them organized and in rack. When a task in the list is being accomplished, dose of dopamine in the brain which is responsible for being motivated. However, it is not enough to just create a to-do list, but also a "to-don't" list.

The Power of Subtraction

Making a to-do list is not enough. We should know what holds us back when accomplishing the items in achieving objectives. Your to-don't list can help you illuminate what belongs on your to-do list. What you decide not to do is probably more important than what you decide to do

Crossing some items off of your to-do list can help you prioritize and know what is important. It doesn't only help you get rid of bad habits, it also assists you in retaining focus.

Jim Collins

Jim Collins

A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit—to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort—that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.

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Creating A Don’t-Do List

Start by looking at your congested to-do list. There's no doubt that there are items in that list that you can get rid of. By doing that, ask yourself these questions:

  1. If we do...
Letting Go of Hundreds of Good Ideas

It's a challenge to surrender numerous good ideas that can be innovated and improved. This is where the don't-do list come to play. In order to develop, test, pilot and revise an idea, loads of propositions must be dropped.

The challenge is to be tough enough to do the pruning so that the survivors have a chance of being implemented properly and reaching their full potential,

Closing Your Options

"Only the masters of renunciation leave an imprint, only those who can say a hundred Nos for the sake of an overwhelming Yes."

 - David Brooks.

Your energy disappears and nothing really happens.

It is a reminder for you to close those options. And starts focusing on something that will affect and move you towards success. Otherwise, you spread yourself thin. You dissipate your energies and never put full force behind any cause. 

Time multipliers

Most of us manage our time the same ways: by writing to-do lists and prioritizing the items on those lists, by assessing the relative urgency and importance of our tasks.  The third cr...

4 questions for your to-do list
  1. Can I eliminate this task? Anything that we say no to today creates more time for us tomorrow.
  2. If I can’t eliminate this task, can I automate it? Online bill paying is one example.
  3. Can it be delegated, or can I teach someone else how to do this? We can find ourselves more resistant about delegating duties at work.
  4. Should I do this task now, or can I do it later? This strategy is called  “procrastinate on purpose.
Get Your System Under Control

Create 3 different to-do lists:

  • Important but non-time sensitive projects list
  • Items that need to be completed today list
  • Not-to-do list
The Not-to-do List

The purpose of this list is to know the tasks the are not important and are not worthwhile. There are a lot of things worthy of your time and getting rid of those unnecessary tasks will give you more time to complete more important tasks.

How to Make Your Don't Do List
  • Reevaluate your to-do list: Identify the goals and determine how the items in your list impact your aims.
  • Create your not to-do list: Cut those unimportant tasks in your to-do list and paste it on your no to-do list. By doing this, you must accept that your time is limited and commit on letting them go.
  • Evaluate new tasks: From then on, once a new assignment arrives, evaluate its importance and the effects of it with your goals.
The philosophy of working "smart"

... is to maximize your productivity when you are working so that you can get more stuff done in shorter periods of time.

By working smarter, you'll find yourself with more time in th...

Find the to-do list app that work for you

The best one for you depends entirely on your working style and personal preferences.

You can use a physical notebook around everywhere you go, but it's easier to use a to-do list app or tool that syncs across all your devices. That way, you can access your to-do items whenever and wherever you need to, whether you're at your desk, in a meeting, or on a business trip.

Prepare in advance

Write out your to-do list the day before:

  • You'll free your time to dive right into your to-do list in the morning - one of the most productive times of day.
  • It can help you spot obstacles ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
  • Knowing what you have going on well in advance could help you relax and sleep better the night before.

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Writing helps your memory

When you take notes, you need to filter external information, summarize it in your head, and then write it down.

Your brain decides which pieces of information to hang onto for later, part...

To-do lists and calendars

Once you write down the tasks you need to perform, you then have to clear space in your day to put some of those tasks onto your calendar.

This calendar maintenance is itself a useful exercise for fighting the tide of interruptions you’re always facing. It pulls your brain out of a reactive mode and forces you to think about the long term. 

Planning your goals

Planning turns abstract goals into concrete work.

For most people, the challenge is making sure we get the big-picture projects done, those that make work fulfilling. And it's hard to achieve them without breaking them into a coherent set of concrete actions you can take on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Things that Belong on Every Don't-do List
  • Don't be lazy. Spend your time being productive.
  • Don't just take the default path. Don't go with the mainstream, make your own flow.
  • Don't wait for the perfect...
Writing The List In The Morning

Although it might feel natural to create your to-do list first thing in the morning, it's too late.
Writing the list at the end of the day allows you to leave work behind and tra...

Including Too Many Tasks

Ideally, create a ‘top three’ tasks at the beginning of your to-do list. 

Long lists are a problem because most people aren’t aware that “we only have about three to six good hours of work in us each day.”

People also tend to underestimate how long a task takes. 

Including Someday Items

Aspirational tasks, like writing a book, don’t belong on a to-do list; instead, create a separate bucket list. 

Daily to-do lists should be focused. If you have a big project you want to complete, you can put it on your to-do list if you chunk it out into smaller, more attainable tasks.

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Common Reasons For Procrastination
  • Fears of not doing a specific task well enough.
  • Unpleasant feelings associated with a specific task.
  • Thinking working under pressure makes for more efficient working.
Drop Or Automate Tasks

If procrastination makes your list have too many items, find out what you can eliminate. For necessary but time-consuming tasks that don’t bring a lot of returns, consider adopting solutions that will do it for you.

Automating tasks you would otherwise be doing manually, is also very satisfying and can help you fight procrastination.

Break Tasks Down

Sometimes it seems daunting to start a project because of its scale, which is why it’s important to break tasks down into small chunks. 

Subdividing tasks allows you to keep progressing by switching tasks when you get stuck but have deadlines to meet or taking a break isn’t an option. It also allows you to circumvent boredom as you won’t get stuck in the same task.

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Defensive failure

It's what occurs when we want to achieve something and we think about it constantly but we don't do it.

This happens because of a few mental blocks that are keeping us locked in this c...

“I just don’t think I can do this”

Experiencing a rocky start is enough sometimes to discourage us from going any further and we convince ourselves we don't have what it takes to do a certain task.

How to outsmart it: Develop a growth mindset and try to see each failure as just an opportunity to learn.

“People like me aren’t good at this”

While our identities can give us a sense of meaning and a place in the world, sometimes they can get in our way when we’re attempting new things: many of us will avoid doing anything that threatens our sense of self.

How to outsmart it: Find people like you, that are doing the things you'd like to do and share your concerns with them.

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Networking is necessary

We have to get over the belief that being competent and qualified means we shouldn't need help finding a new job.

We feel this way because networking makes us feel vulnerable. We are a...

Networking is effective

Hiring managers want job candidates whom they know they can trust. That is why they prefer candidates who come through personal referrals.

Referrals have a 50 percent chance of getting an interview, while non-referrals have only a 3 percent chance. Referrals or internal candidates fill up to 80 percent of jobs.

How to network

Networking is not just talking to strangers - it is also initiating career conversations with your existing acquaintances.

Keep these questions in mind: Can your siblings, neighbors, friends, hairdresser or other regular contacts describe your aspirations and particular expertise in one or two sentences? Can you explain theirs?

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