The Ultimate Not-To-Do-List to Do More

cheerful young ethnic woman checking list of orders during work in creative studio
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

You have to stop doing ten things if you want to gain time and mental energy.

What you do everyday matters, but what you do not do matters even more.

Here’s a quick list of little things to stop doing to save yourself time and aggravation.

It works for me, and I hope it works for you.

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Let’s start.

  1. Don’t confuse motion and progress. — Stop shooting at everything that moves and focus on a specific target. Become a hedgehog. After studying the most successful companies, Jim Collins coined the hedgehog concept in Good to Great. The principle states that instead of focusing on a thousand things like foxes, the most successful companies always focus on what makes them strong, like hedgehogs. What makes you strong?
  2. Don’t take advice from everybody. It would help if you had filters. — If you choose a goal and want to learn how to achieve it, you can read books or even reverse engineer what your competitors do. But you have to choose a few. Because when you choose more, analysis by paralysis is always there. Take this advice, and you will save time: never choose more than three mentors. If you need to add one, remove one from your list.
  3. Don’t waste your time on minor goals. — In case you haven’t read the newspapers lately, humankind has a few issues. And by “a few issues,” I mean “we are on the verge of extinction.”The last makes the saying “shoot for the stars, and if you miss, at least hit the moon” more valid than ever. It would help if you dreamed big and acted because our problems are more significant than ever. Stop losing time with minor goals. Shoot the f*cking star. Probably “It’s now or never.”
  4. Don’t overwork. — Passion is the by-product of action, but overwork makes you cross the line. And you know that there is only one step from love to hate. Don’t cross the line. Stephen Pressfield says, “After forty years of doing this, I know that if I can accumulate enough days of work, enough months, enough years, eventually I’ll have a book; I’ll have a movie; I’ll have something.” In other words, significant achievements are not the result of one day but of doing the same thing one day after another, and you have to rest and take it easy and be constant to do that.
  5. Please don’t play it safe. — That’s the main problem of many people; they never play offense, always on the defensive. Don’t be one of them. An old saying goes, who wants fish has to get his ass wet in the river. So get your ass wet in the river.
  6. Don’t talk to those who won’t listen. — It never works. Suppose you want to be genuinely productive; stop talking to those who don’t listen. The same applies to helping those who don’t want help. We waste a lot of time, patience, focus, and energy trying to convince people who don’t want to listen to us and helping people who, let’s face it, don’t want to be helped.
  7. Don’t lose your mind for the sake of being right. — Life is not an ego game anymore. That was a twenty-century way of being. You are better than that. You don’t need to impress anyone anymore. You don’t need those close to you to prove you right. You don’t need to be correct. Because everyone has a way of seeing the world, and if you learn to stop imposing your vision of reality on others, you will become more efficient, and people will collaborate much more with you, saving you time and money.
  8. Don’t let silly little everyday dramas f*ck your mind.—The minor problems make you lose focus. That’s the hard truth. Don’t let the small take action with the big. Don’t let that person who interrupts you every day upset you. Don’t let the minor frictions with your loved ones worry you. Don’t let daily frustrations, such as your photocopier breaking down, upset you. It’s all about being productive. And not every day is the same. It’s easy to be effective when conditions are optimal. But the days with setbacks are more. And you have to learn to be focused on those days if you want to make a difference in your productivity.
  9. Don’t get stuck in the past. — We tend to romanticize the past. And there is nothing more time-consuming than gawking at that old victory that still makes us proud. It’s a trap; it seems to motivate us to move forward, but it’s not. Our gaze must always be set on the future to work well in the now and not stumble.
  10. Don’t lose faith. — Accepting reality as it comes is a challenging spiritual exercise, but it strengthens faith. James Stockdale spent years locked up and tortured during the Vietnam War, but they could not break him because he had faith that he would return to the United States, which enabled him to endure each day. If you have faith, you can stay and achieve your dream each day because you can persevere for as long as it takes.


Today, I hope you start making your life great again. I hope you stop thinking about the past and move forward. I hope you realize that the most important thing you have is your attention. So focus on the issues under your control and don’t lose time and happiness with things you can’t control. See you in the following article 🙂

A virtual hug


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