How to Create a “Stop Doing” List

by | Articles, Career

While this year started off quietly, the past month has been nothing short of a whirlwind.

I’m feverishly sending out weekly emails, recording short-form video content, creating new products for the online shop, working on the Joy Bombs Affirmation deck, and securing speaking opportunities and workshop facilitation gigs.

On top of all that, I’m even squeezing in freelance graphic design work. (The thing that actually provides the most consistent revenue)

I know, I know – I’m a multi-passionate person, but that also means I have a never-ending to-do list.

However, as I pondered over The Pareto Principle, which states that 80 percent of results stem from 20 percent of effort, I realized that I might be spending 80 percent of my time on tasks that are not adding much value.

So, I took a step back and evaluated what’s working, what’s not, and where I should focus my energies.

I decided to create a Stop Doing List.

Productivity is not about mindlessly packing your day and your life with endless tasks. True productivity lies in prioritizing the most essential work and carving out white space to unleash your creativity.

This game-changing exercise not only frees up time for reflection and long-term planning but also empowers you to propel your life and business forward. So, how do you go about it?

1. Make a list of your top priority projects.

If everything is important, then nothing is important. Start by jotting down the things that you absolutely must complete, followed by the tasks you wish to accomplish. Next, prioritize each project from most crucial to least important, and narrow that list down to three things you’ll focus on for the next month.

2. Assess the return on investment for each of your daily tasks.

We often overextend ourselves by trying to do too much at once. From posting on multiple social media platforms to organizing emails, every action has a clear return on investment. Make a list of all your daily tasks and ask yourself, “Will this help in the long run, or am I just doing things because I think I have to?”

3. Identify energy drains in your life.

Analyze your workload and figure out what tasks bring you joy and which ones leave you feeling drained. Delegate tasks that no longer serve you and find ways to recharge your batteries.

4. Resist the urge to over-commit.

It’s tempting to take on new projects, but it’s okay to let some things simmer on the back burner. Create a backlog of projects you’d like to complete, and focus on only one or two tasks at a time. This way, you can make substantial progress without spreading yourself too thin.

Once you’ve completed this exercise, it’s time to create your “stop doing” list. Say no to tasks that don’t serve your goals, and focus on what truly matters. Remember, productivity is not about doing more; it’s about doing what matters most.

Here’s what’s on my Stop doing List:

  1. Stop procrastinating on projects that are important to me. Instead, focus on one project at a time so you can see more progress.
  2. Stop overthinking. You don’t need any more ideas. You need to execute the ideas you already have.
  3. Stop listening to my inner critic. He’s trying to convince me to waste time.
  4. Stop posting on social media so much. Instead, focus on longer-form content.
  5. Stop wasting time on things I’m not good at. Outsource as much as I possibly can.
  6. Stop ordering food. Even though it takes more time, cooking at home is better for me in the long run.
  7. Stop forcing things to work. If it seems to not be working, sit with it. And above all else give myself permission to quit.
  8. Stop beating myself up for not being perfect. That’s just my inner voice trying to derail my progress.
  9. Stop comparing myself to other people. Everyone is on their own journey. And things are happening for me in perfect timing and harmony.
  10. Stop thinking about all the ways it could go wrong. It’s okay to plan for the worst outcome. But that should never derail progress.
3 Reasons to Journal Daily

3 Reasons to Journal Daily

There’s a long list of ways to go about knowing yourself, but journaling just might be at the top.  Few people take advantage of the clarity that journaling can bring. It helps you cope with stress and anxiety. It’s also a beautiful way to record the life-changing...

6 interesting Ways to Journal

6 interesting Ways to Journal

When you think of keeping a journal, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is the traditional “Dear Diary” format--basically a letter that recaps your day.  But there are so many ways to keep a journal. You can write full sentences or fragments of ideas....

5 Useful Tips to Maintain the Journaling Habit

5 Useful Tips to Maintain the Journaling Habit

It’s hard to stick to habits that support your growth as an individual. It takes the average person 66 days to seriously adopt a new behavior. So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already tried to start a journal, but it didn’t quite go as expected. Here are a few ways...