The Not-Todo List

The difference between highly successful people and the average is often not the things they do. Instead, it’s what they are not doing. It’s what they are not doing, to focus on their goals and have the needed margin.

In the past, I had so many projects going on, three blogs, wanted to learn a ton of technologies, wanted to learn another language, wanted to do this and that. And of course all at the same time. It was all organized in my todo list. Everything is present inside there, but as you guess from reading the sentence above, it was just too much, and I couldn’t dedicate any focus to a single project.

In 2017 I started a Not-Todo list, that has grown over time. To give you an example, in my previous job a part of the company used Typo 3 and PHP, I spend a lot of time learning that stuff, but I never used it, and I never was good at it. So it was wasted energy and wasted time. That was also the first thing on my Not-Todo list.

Do what moves you forward

Since then the list has grown and prevented me from wasting more and more time on projects that don’t bring me forward.

Instead I align my actions with my goals. I have a Trello board with goals divided into sections like personal, social, finance, health, and so on. And for each goal I am figuring out, what do I need to achieve to get there.

And with everything that I do, I am asking myself how that aligns with my goals.

Accept yourself

The Not-Todo list also helped myself to accept who I am.

By writing down what I don’t want to do anymore, I accept that I probably won’t be good at certain tasks. I am better at other tasks, and on them, I want to focus, and with them, I want to spend my time.

I never will be good at drawing, sure I could learn it, but that would take me a lot of time that could be invested better in my strong areas of life.

Do you really want that?

Are you doing a task because you actually want it or need it? Or are you doing it because of external factors?

We do a ton of things, that in the end are not good for us, only because everybody is doing it or because that’s the way it has to be.

Ask yourself if that’s necessary and why you are really doing it.

Create margin

By implementing a Not-Todo list, you will create margin in your life. Space that you can do to advance in your passions. Turning down the noise in your life can do a lot good to you.

How you want to be good at a thing if you don’t have enough time to invest in it?

Stop Starting – Start Finishing

I want to close this post with this sentence. Stop starting a ton of projects until you finish another one. One at a time.

2 thoughts on “The Not-Todo List

  1. Thanks for your post. Usually I know my goals, but often I do not reached them. I noticed that this is often because I am not really focused. And that’s how I started creating Not-Todo lists. An example: A goal is to lose weight. The goal alone is often not enough. Knowing what you should not do can help you to better focus your goal. A Not-Todo list for this example can be: eat no wheat, eat no sugar, no fast food restaurant, etc. With this kind of Not-Todo list you can reach your goal faster. This is also helpful with other projects. Often you do not reach your goal because you spend too much time dealing with things that are not really effective. Don’t do the things that keep you from your goal.

    1. Thanks for the comment 🙂

      When I am reading your comment I realize that I didn’t reflect on this type of a “not-todo” list at all. For me until now it was more a list of what to not focus on, but in your case it can also work as a “dont-do-shit” list that contains all of the bad habits, like health and fitness related.

      Again thank you very much for the new perspective 🙂

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