The Not To Do List


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It’s the end of January, and according to, 80% of New Year’s resolutions have been broken. I’m no longer a “business insider,” if I ever was, having left the corporate world 27 years ago, nor did I make any New Year’s resolutions. But like most people, I have lists of things “to do.” They are useful reminders, and so satisfying to check off when completed. But what takes their place? Another to do list! It’s an endless daily process, and while it certainly helps me remember what I need to do next, that list can get overwhelming. Recently I came across the idea of a “not to do” list. Business writer Michael Hyatt writes here about how and why you need one to succeed at work.

Since I’m not reporting to anyone but myself these days, my not to do list is aimed at getting out of my own way so I can be happy, a lifelong quest I’m getting pretty good at. Since I believe it helps to write these things down, here’s my 2018 Not To Do List:

  1. Spend time with people I don’t like.
  2. Watch TV every night.
  3. Eat anything that doesn’t taste delicious.
  4. Compare myself to someone else.
  5. Take the best parking spot.
  6. Ignore my feelings.
  7. Say yes when I want to say no.
  8. Silence my voice.

What do you think? Is a “not to do” list is a good idea? What would be on yours?

Comment here on my blog and I’ll put your name in the drawing for my next book giveaway: The Moment of Truth by Damian McNicholl. Based on true events, it’s the story of a female bullfighter in 1950’s Mexico faced with all that the machismo culture can throw at her.


The winner of last month’s drawing is Mary Lou Baldwin. She gets an autographed copy of The Promise of Pierson Orchard by Kate Brandes. Congratulations, Mary Lou!


10 thoughts on “The Not To Do List

    1. I agree, I am also a list person, But never in a million years would have thought of a ” Not to do list”.
      really gave me something to think about. Linda always comes up with things that make us think outside the box. Simply amazing.


  1. Who creates this list, you or social expectations? Free people do not create resolutions based on I imposed standards from external authority and then compound this insanity with an external schedule for these accomplishments!


  2. great article and idea.
    My not to do list,

    1. Procrastinate about getting my teeth fixed
    2. Internalize everything
    3. Be moody when I am hormonal
    4. Feel overwhelmed when there is no reason to be
    5. Self Sabotage by not giving 100% to my goals.
    6. Not forget the vitamins everyday
    7. Eat chocolates and junk food while watching tv every nite.
    8. Half listen when someone is speaking,
    9. Keep clothing that no longer fits me
    10. Suppress things that need to be said

    Wow ! That was a lot harder to do, than I thought it would be. It would be interesting to see if other people 50 plus would have some of the same answers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I am bringing my nephew who has had many trials and tribulations , And has just lost his father to a 10 year battle of cancer. He has soooooo much to write about. And he loves books like me. he will learn and live your memoir class.
    Thanks Linda.


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