Updated: Feb 16, 2021
We are about to turn the page into next year. That is a signal for most people to get busy listing out resolutions. However, according to Forbes less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.
Why? Because we don’t have the additional TIME we need to invest in chasing after them.
Please. Don't. Start. Next. Year. Thinking. You. Have. Time. To. Do. More. You don't!
Most people will make a list of 5, 10, or 15 resolutions or goals for next year. Things like: learn a new skill, get promoted, change jobs, spend time with family, sell more, make it to the gym more often, start a side hustle, meditate, do more networking, get certified, become a better leader, etc.
Most people will also make a key mistake: they will add these new goals without first freeing up the time they need to accomplish them.
Start your 2021 goal setting with a
NOT DOING LIST
to free up the hours you'll need.
Think about it like this. When you’re saving for a new car, vacation, house, or education (with your income held constant) you are laser focused on where you can STOP spending money. You think hard about what you can CUT from your budget to free up funds. We should take this same approach with our TIME. After all, our time is always held constant. You only get 168 hours each week. In order to make progress in a new area, you’ll first have to decide what to stop doing to create time.
Finding this time is what a #NDL is all about. Here is how to get started on your #NDL for 2021. First look back and then look forward. Spend time looking back at your calendar from this year. Note down everything that in retrospect was probably a waste of your time. You can learn more from Tim Ferris about how to conduct a Past Year Review.
Then, look forward into 2021. Where might you throw your time away in the coming year? Ask yourself the questions below. Write down all ideas for what you can STOP doing. Challenge yourself to find at least 2 hours per week. That will give you 100 hours next year to chase after your goals.
12 Questions to Start Your 2021 #NDL
Will I produce things that no one is consuming?
Will I run processes that are inefficient or should be automated?
Will I be part of projects or initiatives that are not important?
Will I sit in meetings that are not valuable?
Will I do other people’s work?
Will I let people distract me with their problems?
Will I be too responsive?
Will I let some tasks take a lot longer than they should?
Will I try to consume too much data and information to make smart timely decisions?
Will I work with customers that are not profitable?
Will I respond to emails and IMs all day?
Will I scroll on my phone too often?
Your #NDL becomes the plan for how you’ll find the time you need to hit your goals next year. However, actually not doing these things will be extremely difficult. Fear, guilt, shame, and lost connection will set in quickly and drag you back to saying "yes." It will be a constant battle to win back the time you need. Bring your #NDL front and center as you plan your weeks and start each day in 2021. It's the secret recipe for how you’ll accomplish more.
When people start telling you their grand plans for 2021, ask a simple question: how are you making time for that next year? It's a super tough question for most people to answer. If anyone asks you this question, show them your #NDL.