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How To Stay Out Of The Don't Zone (With a Don't-Do List)

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,

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How To Stay Out Of The Don't Zone (With a Don't-Do List)

How To Stay Out Of The Don't Zone (With a Don't-Do List)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyboynton/2016/08/10/whats-on-your-dont-do-list-do-you-have-one/

forbes.com

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Key Ideas

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 this, will we be really good at it?
  2. Will it make a difference in the market?

If the answer is no, then cross it out and move it to your don't-do list.

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. 

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To-Do Vs Might-Do
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  • A Might-Do list is composed of the things you might do someday, things that are your goals and you will, in the course of time, schedule them in your calendar.
The Handy Calendar

The important, big things can be 'baked-in' your calendar, while you keep track of meetings and appointments.

The Might-Do list acts as your goals list that you will incorporate in your coming days while doing your routine work.

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Keep a Journal

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Listing out 5 or 10 areas of improvement and tracking the progress in weekly or monthly reviews is a great way to develop your career.

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Lists to Organize Yourself Perfectly
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  • 100 Days List - all the task waiting for you in the next 100 day.
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The Not-to-do List

A list of tasks you simply don't do: You delete them, delegate them, outsource them or simply say no when they try to find their way on your to-do list:

  • Things you want to say no
  • Distractions from being productive
  • Regular tasks you can delete, delegate, or outsource
  • Other people's responsibility
  • Small projects that get way on bigger projects
  • Emotionally draining tasks
  • Bad habits
  • Stuff that doesn't need to be done
  • Things that are out of control
  • Everything else that you can systematically eliminate and bring a bigger margin into your life.
Not-to-do List and Templates

When people ask you personally or via email something that you are struggling to decline, use templates. Templates are standard response you use to everyone. With the use of these, you refuse them politely without offending them. Also,  it saves you time and there's less emotional pressure compared to writing a decline every time.

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Tips On How To Set Up To Do Lists
  • Start task names with a verb to make them more descriptive and easy to understand.
  • Break each task into smaller tasks.
  • Create temporary lists
Examples Of To Do Lists
  • Personal: for tasks that only apply to your personal life and are somewhat time sensitive.
  • Work: for work related tasks. You may want to create sister lists if your work is multifaceted. For instance: Work > Sales and Work > Acquisitions.
  • Someday: for tasks that you may want to achieve but not in the near future.
Basic Steps For Using a To-Do List
  1. Add tasks as they appear to the appropriate list, assigning a due date if possible.
  2. Before the day ends, check your lists for the tasks you want to do the next day. You can add a due date for it.
  3. Review the lists at the end of the day to have a clear idea of how your tomorrow will be and ensure you haven’t missed any tasks.
  4. In the morning open your to do list and choose the tasks you want to start with. Mark the important ones and focus on them first.

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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.

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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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Bring facilitation techniques to encourage participation.

By giving team members time and resources to grow, learn, and explore you get a better quality and wider brainstorming. 

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