Free Printable: Not To-Do List
Feeling overwhelmed? Suffering with anxiety and stress? Feeling like there’s so much to do, but SO little time? Try a ‘Not To-Do List’.
Sometimes life feels impossible. We write a to-do list with great intentions, trying to declutter the mind and work out what needs to be done. But as we gaze down at the mammoth list we feel frozen, struck by paralysis and indecision. “What first? Everything is a priority, I’ll never get this done.”
We simply cannot do everything, and often we set such high expectations of ourselves that we can never meet. Life is driven by goals, dreaming big and getting sh*t done, and sometimes we just can’t achieve everything we want to.
The truth is, sometimes we are too stressed to be productive.
Even ‘high performers’ cannot do everything. Life pulls us in many directions, and although some of that stress is good – our love for multitasking means that we often take off more than we can chew.
Below you will see The Stress Curve, which a really useful tool to reflect on when it comes to what stress looks like and what good stress feels like vs. what bad stress feels like. Where are you on The Stress Curve today?
The Stress Curve:
A great tool to use to avoid tipping over into the ‘bad stress’ zone for busy-minds, is the ‘Not To-Do’ List. Sounds crazy right? Well what if I told you that waking up each morning and working out your not to-dos will help you to be way more productive than if you settle with a to-do list every day?
How does a Not To-Do List work?
A Not To-Do List is a great way to write down all of your worries, thoughts, fears and tasks for the day. Here’s how it works:
- Wake up and scribble down EVERYTHING that is on your mind, that you have to do before the end of the day
- On another page/tab/notes doc/paragraph, write down the following headings:
- Other people’s priorities
- Things that are out of my control
- Things that drain me
- Things that can be left undone
- Things I absolutely must do
3. Go through your ‘to-do list’ and start to see if any of the things you wrote down can go into these new headings. Think about if you can delegate anything, if things can wait, and if there are things you simply need to ask someone for more information on.
Remember, if something truly drains you AND it’s not a MUST DO, then don’t do it.
There aren’t many things we ‘must do’ when we think about it, sometimes we convince ourselves otherwise, or because we’ve been so busy writing to-do lists instead of ‘Not To-Do’ lists, we lose sight of what’s important.
If the ‘Not To-Do’ List really works for you, then each month you can review your daily notes and look at anything that crops up. Are you always drained by the same tasks? Do you tend to feel more anxious about certain things? Do you avoid things regularly? Reflect on these and for the next 30 days, make an extended effort to reflect on those things and work on them. There may be a step you can take, a conversation you can have or a change you can make to help make this theme easier to deal with.
Tag me on Instagram @wellnesswithkayleigh to show me your ‘Not To-Do Lists!’