making my “stop-doing” list
posted: November 6, 2009
Sleep. Read. Sweat. Shower. Work. Meet. Write. Shop. Clean. Fix. Organize. Here. There. Everywhere.
I am a recovering list-a-holic. Seriously, if I could itemize the minute details of my life purely for the satisfaction of crossing tasks off my list, I would. I do.
The to-do list is hardly fresh. Children return to school and receive agendas on their first day at class. As for me, I have been sharpening my planning skills as if training for the Organizational Olympics since the ripe age of seven, and I am as detail-oriented as they come. Come to my apartment, and witness the to-do list that is permanently fixed to my front door. (Neurotic? Guilty.) Recently my paradigms of list-making were shaken up a bit – enter the “stop doing” list.
I just finished working my way through Jim Collin’s book Good to Great, a must-read in my opinion. His research resonated with me – my eager eyes feasted on all the pretty little lists, brimming with empirical data, waiting neatly for me to absorb, page after page. I learned that “good-to-great leaders distinguish themselves by their unyielding discipline to stop doing anything and everything that doesn’t fit tightly within their Hedgehog Concept. “ (Hedgehog concept? It has nothing to do with chocolates. You need to read this book and learn more.) The more I chew on this idea, the more I like it – and guess what? Out comes my red journal and POP! a new list descends the page.
1. I stop chatting online; instead I welcome friends into my home for real quality time.
2. I stop doing busy things that thwart my creativity.
3. I stop wasting time lamenting the things I do not have and think I need. I am grateful. Period.
4. I stop making the computer screen the first and last thing I see in a day.
5. I stop criticizing myself & the people in my world. I replace criticism with encouragement and praise or nothing at all.
6. I stop spending time worrying about the future. Every day has enough troubles of its own.
Streamline your life. Take inventory of all the “DO’s” in your life and see if they align with who you are and where you want to go. Make a list of “DON’Ts” and bathe in the clarity that follows. Repeat as necessary.
What’s on your list today?