Updated: Dec 6, 2020
In Not Doing List, I show readers how to get harder, more important work done by starting each week with a list of what you will delete, dodge, skip, avoid, and not do. I advocate for making your #NDL every Friday. Start by writing a headline to define success in the week ahead. Add things to your #NDL that could waste your time and hold you back from your headline. On Sunday, before the week starts, revisit your #NDL again with a clear mind. Look out across the week. Find additional things that could get in the way of your headline and add them to your #NDL. Sounds simple enough. Try it out. Making the list itself is hard. Fear, guilt, shame, and routines make it tough. Actually sticking to your #NDL is even harder as you move through the week. By lunchtime on Monday, we're battling an avalanche of emails, pings, requests, IMs, and countless distractions. Once you spot the things you know you should NOT do each week, you need a method to make sure you follow through and actually reclaim your time. So, how do we stick to our #NDL? Like most answers in business today, one way is to AUTOMATE it. Take the list of things you know you should not do in the week ahead (on Sunday) and use Siri or Google to set reminders.
Hey Siri, remind me on X day to NOT... ...open social media until 5pm ...help Samira with HER client presentation ...get involved in fixing Sani's process ...send out the weekly report no one reads ...check my email before 1pm ...spend time arguing with Malik ...attend the useless meeting at 2pm ...dodge Nick before he asks for time again
There is a great write up in Fast Company this week about this topic and similar features. Check it out. I love the idea of automating Do Not Disturb to stay focused: "For instance, try using the HomePod to enable Do Not Disturb mode on your phone, which will shut down notifications during those times when you really need to concentrate." Let your phone or smart device help you say "No" instead of distracting you. These reminders will pop up and give you the confidence you need to actually skip, dodge, delete, and avoid the low value things across each week. Each one of these reminders will help you reallocate your #168hours to more important work. Cheers to getting more of the hard stuff done.
“I do today what people won’t, so I achieve tomorrow what other people can’t.”
–Daymond John, famed entrepreneur and venture capitalist