Weekly Practice: The Not Doing List

We’re busy. The to-do list is long. The more self-authored our life gets, the more choices we’re making, the more complex setting priorities and directing actions become.

Does this sound familiar? You’ve got lots to do. You make a list. Or lots of lists. You’ve got it written down or streaming through your mind. You imagine it all getting done today because this is what needs to get done today. Maybe you plod away steadily, or anxiously, or furiously, or frantically, but you do plod away. It doesn’t all get done. So what’s left gets carried over until tomorrow, with additions. The list is infinite. 

Not only is this the way most of us roll, there seems to be a certain amount acceptance around this cycle. The list doesn’t end and on and on we go. I don’t know about you, but I find this exhausting and energetically draining. The never ending list is the flame of the compulsion to push myself too far.

So this week, we’re stopping this nonsense! Wahooo!

Practice: At the beginning of each day, review what you ‘have to get done’ and choose what you’re NOT GOING TO DO.

This is will be hard. Because that ol’ crazy mind will tell you it needs to get done. And it does need to get done. I get it, these items are all important. But remember, you’re not going to get everything done anyway. You never do. So as a gift to yourself, your sanity and the things you ARE going to get done, cross some shit off your list. 

Be sure to make a big deal about what you’re NOT GOING TO DO. Write it on a NOT DOING list. Or cross it out on today’s list. But whatever you do, make sure it’s captured somewhere outside of your mind. Why? Because you will have to go back to it. One of these days, it will be today’s to-do. If it’s not captured somewhere, your mind will be tracking it all day.

Choosing what you won’t be doing each morning will free up your energy to focus on what you will be doing. It cuts out that gnawing feeling that you’re behind. It strengthens your muscles of discernment, making you better at prioritizing and better able to be present and satisfied with yourself and your work.

Want to have a little fun? See if you can choose one or two things that you’re not going to do at all, ever. Like not even tomorrow. This is one of those items that you carry around in your mind that you should do, that you don’t get to. Maybe it doesn’t actually need to get done?

See if you can boldly remove it from your mental space all together. For instance, maybe you’ve been wanting to fold and organize your panties according to colour. For, like, years. When you do this practice, free yourself up, say screw the colour coded undies! Then write it down on a small piece of paper and burn it.

Burn the to-do list of things you think you should do, that really don’t need doing at all. Get them out of your way. Don’t look back.

May this practice free you up. May you spend your days giving your energy to the most important things. The things that matter today, the things that make your art, move that project forward, honour your word, express your calling and bring you deep satisfaction.

One last note: If what you choose not to do today is something that someone else is expecting today- get in communication about it. Keeping your integrity intact is instrumental in keeping your energy up and your mind focused.

I’m an Integral Master Coach™, Master Certified Coach, writer, mother & people lover. My gifts are centered around helping others to meet their calling and unleash their genius, on behalf of our shared world. Get to know me...

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