Do this with your to-do list and change your life

Begin to divide your to-do list into the following three categories:

  1. Things you have to do
  2. Things you want to do
  3. Things other people want you to do

You will notice that you often don’t get to 3). It’s what it means to have boundaries, and if you let it, it will be life-changing.

Inspired by writer Jenée Desmond-Harris

Make A Not-To-Do-List

A not-to-do list is the best way to prioritize important things in your life and career. Simply put, it’s a set of rules for tasks you don’t do.

Examples from my personal not-to-do-list:

  • No eating at my desk
  • No reading news
  • No checking e-mail or messages in the first 2 hours after waking
  • No snoozing more than 30 minutes (it’s harder than it sounds!)
  • No client meetings before 3:00 PM
  • Not more than 30 minutes of social media per day
  • No food after 8 PM

Make your Not-To-Do-List today and gain more clarity and focus for your daily routine.

You Will Never Get Everything Done

There are two facts:

  1. There is an infinite amount of things to do
  2. You only have a finite time in this world

Lean into that knowing and the resulting discomfort

Yes, you can become more efficient and productive (see a few of my tips here) but don’t ever expect that it will allow you to get everything done or that, at some point, you will reach the day when your to-do list is empty, there is nothing more to take care of, and you can finally only do the things that you want to do.

Don’t live in that illusion.

You will have to actively make this desired feeling of relief and the resulting act of relaxation happen. It certainly won’t come to you by getting more done in less time.

What makes it unbearable is your belief
that it can be cured.

Charlotte Joko Beck, Zen teacher

Accept that you will never get everything done.

How To Lead

  • Stimulate in others their innate desire to excel (perhaps through a small challenge or healthy competition).
  • Change “but” into “and”.
  • Praise the good, minimize the bad; Always encourage before you criticize.
  • Ask questions rather than giving orders.
  • Treat people as though they already have the virtues you wished they possessed; give them a great reputation to live up to and they will likely work to live up to it.
  • Make achievement seem possible: Encourage little baby steps and recognize tiny and “insignificant” improvements.

10 Truths About Success That Will Make You Relax

  1. Success is a journey, not a destination.
  2. Try not to become a person of success. Try to become a person of value instead. – Albert Einstein
  3. Don’t measure your success by how high you climb, but how high you bounce back after a fall.
  4. The road to success is always under construction. – Lily Tomlin
  5. The best preparation for success is a strong and positive self-image. – Joyce Brothers
  6. Success is not how far you go, but the distance you traveled from where you started.
  7. Work hard in silence. Let success make the noise.
  8. Problems are those scary things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. – Henry Ford
  9. Unless you pay the price for success you won’t know its worth. – Apoorve Dubey
  10. You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems. – James Clear

If you still want to “have it all”, have a look at my recent post on delaying and savouring gratification.