Consider the Not-to-do List

We are all too familiar with those endless to-do lists. How many times have you actually completed everything on your list? Most of the time, things get cancelled, rescheduled, or we simply run out of time. This makes us feel more stressed and overwhelmed. We dread making tomorrow’s to-do list as we already have a lot of unfinished business to add on.

To get out of this vicious cycle, we need to give our to-do-lists a boost. How about a not-to do list? Or, better still, a to-be list. To cope, we need to adopt a more mindful approach. Mindfulness is about being present, aware, and fully engaged in what we are doing at the moment and who we strive to be. By paying attention, we will not only reduce stress levels, but we can also gain a better perspective and become more productive.

During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we can easily lose sight of what’s really important. Instead of asking, “How are you doing?” ask, “How are you being?” Be mindful of how you are feeling. Create the intention of how you want to be. After all, we are human beings. 

Make a conscious choice as to how you want to be as you do and prioritize what really matters. This will reduce unnecessary interruptions, loss of energy, and waste of time.

Stuff happens every day. Be positive and shift the negative problems into a positive solutions. 

Get a hold on this stuff before it gets a hold on you with the following tips for a Not-to do list;

  • Don’t overextend yourself. Instead, pace yourself and do one task at a time. You can’t do it all at once, nor do you have to do everything that comes your way. Do what’s most important first. Be wise and work smarter.
  • Don’t overthink things, as it only leads to not being able to make a decision or take action. Instead of creating more problems and excuses, put your energy into finding solutions. Stop worrying and beating up on yourself. Don’t allow the negative thinking take over, instead work on positive reframing. Be true to your feelings and face your fears.
  • Don’t freak out. Things don’t always go as planned. Instead, realize that it’s OK. Nothing is perfect, so don’t let it ruin your day. Be flexible and find alternative options.
  • Don’t say yes to everything. You can’t please everyone and you never will. Instead, learn to say no and develop healthy boundaries and relationships. Be respectful of your needs and priorities.  
  • Don’t blame people or things if you fail or make a mistake. Instead, be responsible and own your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Learn your lessons and move forward with confidence. 
  • Don’t complain. Instead, count your blessings and be grateful for what you have. This will increase your happiness, lessen your anxiety, and help you focus on the positive aspects.
  • Don’t stress out. Instead, be relaxed and chill out, Schedule regular breaks and downtime. Breathe deeply, let go of tension, and strengthen your resilience and health.
  • Don’t spend your precious time scrolling on social media. While it can be fun and useful as a resource for connecting with others, moderation is key. Instead, limit your usage and spend the extra time enriching your mind with reading, music, arts, or all the other things you always keep saying you don’t have the time to do. Be balanced.

Start each day by reflecting on who you are and how you want to show up for the day.

As you put your focus on your core values, you will become more centered. You will be able to cross things off your to-do list and live your life with purpose and peace of mind. 

Make room and time for what really matters, and you’ll wind up having a better day. 

Have an amazing day!

Antoinette Giacobbe M.A.