Compile your “not-to-do” list

not to do list

Learning to say “no” to things has become a bit of a cliché. Nevertheless compiling a “not-to-do” list makes a lot of sense. The more you agree to do stuff you want to do, and say no to things you don’t want to do, the better your life will be.

  • If a friend asks if you want to go out on the town, but you prefer peace and quiet, don’t agree to do it.
  • If a business acquaintance asks if you want to get involved in a joint project, but it doesn’t appeal, or looks like a loser, say no.
  • If your significant other suggests you open a joint bank account together, but you prefer autonomy, don’t go along with it.
  • If a friend asks you to help them set up a web presence (because you are skilled at it), and to do it for free as a friend because they are short of cash… but much as you’d like to, the mere idea fills you with ennui… tell ’em no.

There are countless things people might ask you to do that really have no appeal to you. But saying “no” ain’t easy – especially if somebody lays a guilt trip on you.

At first, resisting a guilt trip is hard. But the more you say no, the easier it gets. And the more you’ll see that it’s all about ensuring your freedom, and not being tied down to stuff you don’t want to do.

Do it often and you’ll find that compiling your not-to-do list is just as important as putting together your to-do list.


Jimmy Lee Shreeve View All →

Author and journalist

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