The Don’t Do List idea comes from 2 articles I read that reframe the concept of productivity. Rather than productivity just being about what you Do, it is also about what you Don’t Do.
ADHDers love to be productive; they will forfeit sleep, exercise and many other vital activities in order to ‘get stuff done’.(Of course, sleep and exercise increase productivity; but that is a topic for another day).
It is a great feeling to start the day with a brand new ‘To-Do list’, but by the evening, you can feel very discouraged if you didn’t get to cross everything off.
This is where the ‘Don’t Do’ list comes in.
The idea is that by saying no to little demands and distractions on your time, you will have a lot more time to do the important, big picture tasks. The type of tasks that require focused concentration.
Your Don’t Do list is different from your To-Do list as it remains fairly constant every day.
Here are some ideas to include on your Don’t Do list:
1. Don’t eat sugar (donuts, cereal, etc.) for breakfast
You will have a sugar crash 2 hours later, which makes it harder to focus and pay attention to your tasks.
2. Don’t switch on the TV in the morning
It can grab your attention and make you late for work.
3. Don’t check your phone more than once per hour
4. Don’t multi–task
It feels good, but it means getting less done; not more.
5. Don’t have your inbox open all day
6. Don’t act on every thought you have
Instead, write the thoughts down so you don’t forget them and continue with your task.
7. Don’t start a hyperfocus activity
Unless you have a block of uninterrupted time, you could miss important meetings, etc.
8. Don’t have more than 3 tabs open on your computer at once
9. Don’t check Facebook until the evening
10. Don’t go to bed past midnight
It is surprising how quickly new ‘don’t do’ habits become your new normal. One of my Don’t Do’s was “Don’t use Snap Chat”, and in 2 weeks, I had practically forgotten I ever used it.
What is going to be on your Don’t Do list?