To-do lists are the human equivalent of a hamster wheel. As we cross items off, they repopulate with more to-dos. To fix this, take a moment to think of a few things you could cross off your list; forever.

Shed the projects and tasks that use up your time in ways you don’t love. Call it your “to-don’t” list. Think about the things you can stop doing to make room for what you love. Here are some example items for a to-don’t list, along with one new to-do.

Don't 1) Mindlessly engaging with technology. Avoid getting on your phone or computer unless you have a specific plan for what you're going to do.

Don't 2) Putting work ahead of personal or family time. Reserve some hours each day and on the weekends where you won't engage in any work.

Do 3) Listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Engage with new ideas and stories without having to look at a screen. Listen at bedtime, while shaving, taking out the garbage, while walking, on the subway, driving, and even at the dentist.


Inspired by: Ted Ideas - Is your to-do list making you nuts? Start a to-don’t list instead, by Anna Phelan