Blog

The Secret To Having More Time In Your Life- And It Works!

Possums-3.7.13A book winks at me daily from my bookcase. It’s titled “In Praise of Slowness- Challenging The Cult of Speed”. Problem is, I have been too flat out to read it. But I now have the answer to finding that time. It’s magical, and it works. Do you have it?

I have another book on my bookshelf. “The Power Of Less- The Fine Art Of Limiting Yourself To The Essential…. In Business And In Life.” I haven’t read that one either. No time. In fact, I have a hundred books on this bookshelf I have not read. Just too much else to do.

I pride myself on my relentless, persistent focus to get more of the important things done every day. Today is a case in point… a huge ‘urgent and important’ To Do list, plus I have a Possums blog post to write. How the hell am I going to get it all done? Then I remembered the words of my colleague Alan Higgins, who told me that- while he too is obsessed with ‘To Do’ lists, he’s even more obsessed with this secret to being highly effective and efficient. Here it what Alan does:

He is very focused on clarifying, daily, his “To Don’t” List.

I love that. A “To Don’t” list. What are the things we WON’T do the next day, or week, or generally. Yes- it is vital for productivity and effectiveness to have a very clear To Do list, and to prioritise that To Do list. The real power then comes in following that priority list, relentlessly. And then sprinkle Alan’s idea across all you do. Be clear on what you WON’T do every day. Avoid those things that suck up the time and are not ‘mission critical’. Apologies readers… before I go on, let me please check my ‘To Do’ and “To Don’t” lists for today…

TO DO LIST: Priority A1: Write Possums post

TO DON’T LIST: Priority A1: Don’t pontificate. Finish Possums Post quickly, do not over-cook it and polish the hell of it, do not look for opportunities to put yourself in the best possible light and generally stroke your fragile ego, and get on with the real issues of the day.

Have a great day. (Oh- and give the “To Don’t” list idea a go. Review your list of actions for today. What are distractions? What WON’T you do…today, tomorrow, every day. Do this well, and you will get time back, and maybe even read a book or two that have been winking at you).

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Responses to The Secret To Having More Time In Your Life- And It Works!

  1. Sharon Quill July 3, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    I have the same book on my shelf along with with Buddhism for Busy People – really looking forward to finishing them one day. Will try out the Don’t Do tip along with the ‘do not over-cook it and polish the hell of it, do not look for opportunities to put yourself in the best possible light and generally stroke your fragile ego, and get on with the real issues of the day’

    Thanks!

    • Chris Savage July 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks Sharon!

  2. Justin Di Lollo July 3, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Gareth Evans once said to me (once he’d gone to the back bench and was a little calmer!), “Justin, be very careful not to subvert the important in favour of the urgent”. Very wise words. Important things can be not the least bit urgent. I’m writing my Don’t Do list right now!

    • Chris Savage July 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks Justin- good story

  3. Rob Irving July 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    A savvy ad agency mentor of mine once said this when it comes to management priorities: “Do that which only you can do and have others do everything else”!

    • Chris Savage July 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Thanks Rob- love it!!

  4. Margaret La July 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Thanks Chris. This is an interesting one, I’ve never come across this idea before. Is saying “Don’t procrastinate and leave the dishes in the sink after dinner” more powerful than “Do wash the dishes after dinner”???

    • Chris Savage July 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Not sure! I use paper plates….

  5. DammitBalmainJanet July 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    …”i will not think of pink elephants. i will not think of pink elephants. I will not…” negative operating principles don’t work for me chris. I like the idea of not distracting oneself though. I’m going to call mine “priority list” and “the later list”. 🙂

    • Chris Savage July 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Good- do what ever works for you. I like the ‘later’ idea. Chris

  6. Alan Higgins July 12, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Thanks for the acknowledgement Chris. Most items on my To Don’t list these days are things that won’t add value to my personal or business life… Attending events simply because I feel obliged to, agreeing to meeting requests where no clear agenda has been set and spending time in the company of negative people! I have so much time now to spend on important things.

    • Chris Savage July 17, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Thanks Alan!

  7. Lou Hogan April 28, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I don’t have a ‘to don’t list’ but what a sensible idea. Love this Chris

    Lou 🙂

    • Chris Savage April 29, 2015 at 9:16 am #

      Thanks Lou!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Linkness. What we’ve been reading | July 5, 2013 | NEXTNESS - July 5, 2013

    […] The secret to having more time in your life | Wrestling Possums […]

  2. Smitten Kitten Saturday // 23 - The Laughing Medusa - August 31, 2013

    […] Do you have a to-don’t list? […]

Leave a Reply