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Not-To-Do List | Laura Stack

Berrett-Koehler Staff Posted by Berrett-Koehler Staff.

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Not-To-Do List | Laura Stack

Creating a Not-To-Do-List

Adapted from What to Do When There's Too Much to Do (Berrett-Koehler, 2012) by Laura Stack


‚“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ‚”

-- Peter Drucker

A Not-to-Do list is a list of things you simply refuse to do. It needs not to be fancy - just start writing down the timewasting behaviors you want to avoid. Also include the misaligned tasks that end up on your plate because you're ‚“being nice. ‚” Review the list periodically to make sure you don't slip into habits that damage your productivity. For example:

  • Don’t let brushfires and crises suck up all your time.
  • Don’t spend all your time at work at expense of your family and friends.
  • Don’t deal with work issues during personal time -- and vice-versa.
  • Don’t procrastinate.
  • Don’t fall prey to perfectionism.
  • Don’t attend useless meetings.
  • Don’t multitask.
  • Don’t micromanage.
  • Don’t check your email more than a few times per day.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to do important things.

You might think the key to productivity is getting more done each day. This is not true. You don't need a calendar full of unnecessary tasks to be productive and accomplish more.


What to Do When There’s Too Much To Do

Reduce Tasks, Increase Results, and Save 90 Minutes a Day

By Laura Stack

Berrett-Koehler Publishers

July 2012; $15.95; 192 pages

paperback original

ISBN: 978-1-60994-540-4