letterboard head phones and a notepad

My Not To Do List

Let me see if this is accurate – you probably find yourself pulled in a million directions, on a regular basis? Feeling exhausted at the end of the day, not quite sure of what you actually accomplished?

Constantly feeling like you are disappointing those around you – because you just can’t be everything to everyone at the same time? Having a hard time remembering the last time you shaved your legs? Washed your hair?

I GET IT! Been there! It is a constant struggle!

I went through a little exercise not too long ago that I thought would be great to share here. Sort of a summer take it back to basics exercise…. I’m talking about the NOT to do list!

my not to do list

Now, you are probably thinking – ha! Typo! She said “not to do list”.

No, you heard me right! It is SOOO important for your sanity, mental health, ability to be present, and overall happiness to be AWARE of the things that are controlling your life – the ones that you do not actually want or need to be doing.

Here are the 10 things that I do NOT do any longer and why. I encourage you to take a few minutes this month and do the same. It is SO incredibly refreshing!

1. I DO NOT make my bed in the mornings
I know, I know most people live on the theory that if you start your day out with discipline, the rest of your day will go smoothly. That way of thinking is NOT for me. My most productive time is in the mornings – so when I do wake up I am ready to get started, it is just going to get un-made in less than 24 hours – WHAT A WASTE OF TIME! Also, most of the time there are two pups sleeping comfortably on the bed when I get up – why wake them? 

2. I DO NOT answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize
GASP! But you run a business! Listen, 99.9% of those phone calls are spam! It is a complete waste of my time to answer, “I’m sorry, what company were you with? And what is it exactly that you need from me?” The list goes on. If someone really needs me, they will leave me a voicemail and then I can call them back when it is most convenient for me. Just because I have a phone doesn’t mean I have to be tethered to it 24/7.

3. I DO NOT go to the grocery store
With all of the new delivery services out there, I did the math and it does not make financial sense for me to pull myself away from my work in order to go to the store – and my personal time is sacred to me! Heck, I’m allergic to 23 foods, do you know how long I spend in stores looking for the right item? I put it in my online cart and leave it for someone else to worry about. In case you were wondering – I use Shipt, Prime Now and Thrive Market for groceries – all amazing services!

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4. We DO NOT say yes to every event we are invited to
Now before you go telling me I am a bad friend, daughter, sister or whatever – hear me out. If my mind is elsewhere – already committed to something else and I am only attending said event because I feel obligated to do so – am I really bringing my best self there? Absolutely not, I would rather plan a bit in advance, commit to the events that work the best for us, and truly be present with the people I am with. My nieces and nephews deserve to see Aunt Crystal having fun – not the stressed version – trust me!

5. I DO NOT feel bad for sleeping in or going to bed early
It took me a VERY long time to learn to listen to my body when it is tired – or when my mind is tired. I used to fight this on a regular basis and continue to push myself – at the end of the week or month I would be absolutely exhausted. I was working and moving and doing so much that there was never a break! Now, I listen to my body when I feel tired, I stop. I sleep in when I don’t feel good enough to get up yet and I go to bed early when I feel called to do so.

6. I DO NOT spend time thinking about things I can’t control

Prime example – politics, the economy, if someone is going to call me back, and so on. I’ve learned to make a bit of peace with the fact that some things are completely out of my control – or are in the past. It does nothing but raise my stress level to continue to dwell and think about them.  

7. I DO NOT commit to anything the same week

I have gotten some gasps at this one in the past too, but here is the thing – I am typically booked several weeks out. When I get started on Monday morning with my week I am able to focus on THAT WEEK and the tasks at hand, events to go to, etc… and set my expectations for the week. If someone asks me to join them for coffee tomorrow – the answer is no. Let’s talk about next week.

8. I DO NOT clean my house

Ok, I definitely pick up my house, put away dishes, do laundry that kind of stuff, but scrubbing showers – forget that! Do the math on your income and start to really think about how much time you could have back if you hired someone to clean your house. Steven and I once spent an entire weekend – both of us – cleaning our house and we still didn’t get through it all. The AMAZING God-Send of a lady who comes once a month to clean for us does it in 5-6 hours. Totally worth every penny and more – talk about knowing your strengths.

9. I DO NOT watch the news

Unless its the weather during Oklahoma storm season – the news does NOT come on in my house. I decided not to be influenced by what I see on TV. If I need information about a hot topic dealing with the economy, politics, international affairs, etc… I look elsewhere for that information. News sources are NOT my cup of tea, they stress me out so I’ve decided to leave them behind.

10. I DO NOT try to form more than one habit at a time

This was a really tough one for me – the achiever in me wants to accomplish all of the things all at the same time. However, what I found is that I would do a little bit of one thing and a little bit of another but NEVER make great strides in any direction. I know now that if I really want to move the needle on anything – whether it is business related or personal habits – I have to take it one step at a time. Until I have mastered and gotten a great grasp on step 1 – I do not move to step 2.

Trust me I realize that my Not To Do List is not everyone’s cup of tea – that is why it is MY list! Some of these things other people would never in a million years give up. However, this is what works for me and makes my life so much more manageable.

Write Your Not To Do List Today

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