The Stop Doing List

Many people spend an enormous amount of time talking about what they should do more of, or be better at, and that’s where it typically ends. This can be summarized as… “After all is said and done, more is said than done”

Dreaming, aspiring and envisioning are all useful if they lead to decisive action and a positive outcome. Unfortunately, many people who try to achieve their goals by creating vision boards, goal lists and dream sheets spend more time making and managing the lists than being engaged in achieving their goals.

In my coaching, I apply a different approach to assist people to improve productivity and simplify their lives by creating a “Stop Doing” list. Many individuals have gained greater control of their lives, improved effectiveness and reduced guilt by doing less, not more. By eliminating those tasks that are performed out of routine or habit, they free up space in their schedule to act on high payoff tasks as well as lifting the emotional burden and guilt that is often associated with not achieving everything attempted.

If this is resonating for you, create your own “stop doing” list. Here are some common areas you can consider as a starting point. Feel free to share what you have stopped doing in the comment section to encourage others along their path of reducing and simplifying.

Stop…

1.         Making excuses

  • You don’t believe them yourself and in some cases the excuse is a lie. If you can do what is required say yes, if you can’t, say no. (the emotional freedom and reduced stress from doing this one thing can be significant)

2.         Telling people how smart you are

  • Rather than telling others how intelligent you are or how much education you have, take all your smarts and make a difference in practical terms. Intelligence means nothing until it is used to bring about positive change and improve the situation.

3.         Exaggerating the facts

  • If you’ve done it, it’s yours. Nothing wrong with stating the facts in an unvarnished and professional manner. We can all do with less bragging, embellishing and exaggerating – just the facts please.

4.         Putting others down to make yourself look good

  • This one often takes the form of gossiping about, or misrepresenting what others are doing, or can’t do, to make ourselves look good. Instead, focus on the good and positive things you find in others, or better yet, coaching or supporting the person in question to improve his or her skills and ability. That’s constructive.

5.         Adding too much value

  • Usually, good enough is good enough. This is one I have struggled with over the years. Because I care deeply and strive to help people grow and develop, I’ve been guilty of trying too hard and pushing people to advance when they don’t want to or aren’t ready. What you value is only useful to someone else when they have a need for it or are willing to change and improve.

If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it. ~ Wanda Sykes

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