Time management Monday: Just Don’t Do It

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Funny how your to-do list keeps growing and growing. Just when you’ve managed to tick off a few things, more tasks pile on. It truly is never ending.

The good news is: you are a live, busy human with lots going on. The bad news is, you really will not get everything done.

That’s harsh news to hear, I know. But it’s just a fact. As David Allen (of Getting Things Done fame) says, “you can do anything, but not everything.” There will always be more to do.

Naturally, this means you have to prioritize so you make sure you get the important things done.

The flip side of this is, you have to decide what will NOT get done.

This is a tough choice. You want to do all the things.

But the simple fact is, you can’t do everything, so you have to decide what you will NOT do.

Look at your to-do list, and think about all the things in your life you need and want to do. When you consider each item, think about what would happen if you did not do that task at all, ever. What if you allowed it to slip right off your radar?

Some things would have swift consequences. Other things (like neglecting your nutrition and exercise) would have less immediate, but certainly detrimental, effects over time.

But for some of your other tasks, what would happen if you just didn’t do them?

Would other people be upset with you? How long would that effect last?

Would you be upset with yourself? Why? And how long would that last?

Would not doing this task cause harm to anyone?

In the long run, is this task actually important?

There is a certain amount of freedom in allowing yourself not to do a task. For highly productive people, it will probably feel uncomfortable at first to acknowledge a task that could be done, and then actively choosing not to do it.

When prioritizing your tasks, which of your items could you choose not to do at all?


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