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The Value of a “Not-To-Do” List

In 1955, British naval historian C. Northcote Parkinson published Parkinson’s Law.

In his book he speaks about the pursuit of progress, and his work is often applied to the growth of bureaucracy in an organization.

Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

Simply put, it means there’s always more to do – and no “extra” time to do it.

As former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “We create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.”

You consume more information every day than your grandparents did in a lifetime.

This information overload causes most people to be overwhelmed and burned out, as they have more projects to do in less time.

They often vacillate between piling more on their plate and trying to get it all done, or feeling paralyzed and giving up after getting nothing done.

Either way, you can become addicted to the state of overwhelm.

Overwhelm can become a habit that you secretly like as it makes you feel productive and important, and keeps you from dancing with the difficult.

I get it because this was me when I first opened my business.

Being stressed out kept me focused on the minutia.

In perpetual overwhelm, I didn’t have the time to look at what I really wanted or to create a strategy.

It was my secret shame and a perfect excuse for not having a real plan to grow my business.

And, it spilled over into my personal life too.

It was easier to eat at my desk and choose what was the less healthy choice because I didn’t have the time to plan ahead.

It was easier to not exercise as I had so much to do for my clients.

I would tell everyone around me how busy I was.

The truth behind that condition was that my life was spinning out of control.

When you’re overwhelmed, you may be creating lots of activity without getting real results.

I got busy and efficient within that busy state. However, being efficient is not the same as being effective.

This is the focus of Pillar #4, Live Your Priority, in the 7 Pillars of Leadership I teach at Design Your Destiny Live. ((A big THANK YOU if you already got your ticket to attend…))

When you live your priority, you’re not anxious when your calendar or schedule isn’t full.

In fact, you create spaciousness throughout your day so that you are rested and able to give your best to the people you’re called to serve.

And, you’ve created a team of people around you who can support you so that you get to do what you do best.

My clients often hear me ask them about the “Not To-Do” List.

These are the things that sound good to do and some of them may be because you suffer from FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) – and are really bright, shiny objects as they take you away from your priority.

This list allows you to stay out of overwhelm by re-focusing on what is most important so you maximize your productivity.

Start living your priority to get out of overwhelm and create real success in your personal and professional life.

Action

The Upside Challenge of the week is to set aside 10 minutes every morning to identify your three (3) most important items to living your priority.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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