What’s On Your “not-to-do” List?

We all have to-do lists. Some use a pen and paper, while others prefer mobile apps or emailed lists. But Michael Hyatt, an author and leadership blogger, suggests creating a different kind of list to improve productivity: a Not To Do List.

People, he argues, often take on more than they can do, especially if they are known as a super-productive worker or have just been promoted or are handling several different responsibilities across the organization. Here are Hyatt’s suggestions for how to get started:

  1. Find a quiet place where you can think.
  2. Look at your previous month’s calendar activities. Write down anything you’re not sure really fits your current job description.
  3. Look at your upcoming appointments for the next month. Again, write down things that are questionable in terms of your current job description.
  4. Go through your to-do list(s) and do the same thing. Write down the questionable activities.
  5. You should now have a list of “not to-do candidates.” Good work! You’re almost done.

He then recommends asking for advice from your assistant (if you have one), colleagues, and your boss, to make sure you are tackling the most important tasks for your job and not worrying about what isn’t critical.

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