So I finished the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins recently and will write a series of posts about some good takeaways. Here is the first. Below is a Stop Doing List. This is simply a list of things I want to stop doing. So often we focus on what we should be doing and we forget to think about the things we shouldn’t be doing. You have to constantly be getting rid of all the nonsense in your life so what better way to do that than to have a list that you can check off of things you want to stop doing. Here is mine here for now. Maybe I’ll make some new ones in the future.
1. Leaving Email, Twitter, or Facebook open on my computer so that I don’t check them constantly
The problem with email, twitter, and facebook is that when people re-tweet something, following you, or like something, you get a little chemical released of happiness. I get addicted to this and then with email, I get addicted to having emails and then clearing out the inbox. It feels so good, but is a royal waste of time. There are much more important things in life than checking email, twitter, and facebook and better ways to value myself than if I’m getting likes or followers. So I want to stop leaving email, twitter, or facebook open on my computer constantly.
2. Trying to do everything
I always want to do everything and start new things. I hear of a good new idea and just want to do them even if it is not the best use of my time. Anytime someone talks about a new book, I just want to go and read it. I see an article online that could be project I could do and I want to do that project. I hear a problem and I just want to solve it. The problem is I cannot solve everything, nor should I. There are things that I am good at and things worth working at and things that are truly important and those are the things I should concentrate on. If you haven’t ever heard of the 80/20 rule, this is kind of what I want to apply here. According to this rule, 80% of what you do accomplishes only 20% of what you want to accomplish while 20% of your activities accomplish 80% of the results. While I don’t completely agree with this idea, there is a lot of truth in it. So I want to stop trying to do everything and only do the things that are important to me.
3. Thinking about doing the next thing while doing what I’m currently doing
I find it so hard to concentrate on the task at hand. I think I may have trained my brain not to do this with all the technology that I have. I know I don’t have any attention problems, but I cannot concentrate on what I am doing. I start it and then get bored and think about the next thing I am going to do or want to go on facebook or anything to distract me. I have to tell myself that those things are not even an option. The only thing I can do at that moment is what I am doing. As I write this I want to find a tool to help me do this. That is how hard it is. (After finishing this, I went and found the promodoro technique. I’m going to try it out. I’ll tell you what I think after I use it for awhile.) So I want to stop thinking about doing the next thing while doing what I’m currently doing.
What I’ll do by having a Stop Doing List
Mainly I just want to be free to do what is really important and anything that comes up. There was a study done where people were about to give sermons on the Good Samaritan. One group was told they were late and as they went to give their sermon, they past a needy person. The other group was told they were going to be on good time and as they went to give their sermon, they also pasted a needy person. The study showed that the group who was told they were on good time stopped to help the needy while those who were in a rush did not. So I figure by doing these things, my life should look more like the group who is not always in a rush and I’ll be able to enjoy those parts of life.
So that is my stop doing list, comment below on any things you would put on your own stop doing list.