I have 3 apps on my phone that all essentially have the same function, to make to-do lists. I recently heard Jim Collins speak and he suggests killing your to-do list and instead, creating a “not to-do list”. At first, that seemed crazy to me. I live and die by my to-do list, which is a problem. My to-do list now runs my life. It controls what I do at work, at home, in the car, my workouts and creeps into my relaxation time. Even without any alerts turned on, I know it exists, and that there’s shit to be done.
After listening to Mr. Collins speak, I kind of love the idea of scraping the concept of a to-do list all together. Doesn’t that sounds amazing? Just living and working in the moment. Being more present? I recently turned off my email badge for my email icon on my phone and IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. Who knew that a stupid red circle with a number in it could hinder the ability of an individual to relax, engage with friends, and just live…phone free? I decided checking my work email at home on my “off” hours wasn’t worth my sanity anymore. I found myself cracking open my laptop and doing work that could easily be done the next morning, at 9 or 10 at night, to just make the task that that stupid red badge represented to disappear. That little red badge would trigger several little red badges in my brain, making it impossible to eat or sleep until those little shits were thought about to no end and completed. I worry about enough, I decided that I didn’t need my email dictating new to-do items to me at bedtime (which it around 9PM. I’m old).
This no to-do list concept really stuck with me. I didn’t realize that people even lived this way. Just doing things, and getting shit done, without checking things off and qualifying yourself as a real go getter only bogs down the process of getting shit done. And I LOVE getting shit done.
I’ll still scribble things on post-its and typing up reminders on my phone to run by the store for milk (my memory is horrible, and I need milk for my cereal), but I’ll do my best to rely less on a to-do list to run my existence. The more I think about this, my to-do list is my security blanket. 80% of the tasks I archive on my 3 list making apps, I am going to do regardless of writing them down because they’re important. Think about it! I bet you’re in the same boat as me.
I haven’t started my “not to-do list”, but it will be extensive…and I won’t be putting the “not to-do list” on my dwindling to-do list (ouch, that hurt my brain).