My What’s Your Stop Doing List? yielded some cheers. And multiple poetic replies. So poetic that it raised my brow. My right eyebrow arches when I’m being scrutinizing in that really helpful keener (potentially annoying) way. All of the psycho-emotional lovely answers that poured in here and on Twitter and Facebook had me surmise that when it comes to literal to-do’s that should be converted into to-don’ts, we habitually resist. My poll was partly a bust.
So I’m flagging the STOP SIGN. Because I want you to free up oodles of time to groove with the Great Essentials of life. Priorities.
15 ACTIVITIES TO STOP DOING THAT WILL FREE YOUR TIME AND YOUR MIND…AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW
2. Stop paying everyone else before you pay yourself. It will ease your stress and less stress = more time. (Disclaimer: I have, more than once, paid my staff when there wasn’t enough cash flow to pay me as well. That’s just leadership.)
3. Stop lugging. Double up on tools. I have two sets of: power cords, mice, earphones, and makeup kits.
4. Stop last minute, rushing, drag-your-ass trips to the grocery store, bank, and video store. HAVE IT DELIVERED. Get a food delivery service for your organics, set up direct bank deposits and auto payments, get DVDs by mail.
5. Stop doing the tasks that are not in your natural skill set, or suck time from doing what you do best that earns the moula. OUTSOURCE. The upspringing of Virtual Assistants is a phenomenon that enables you to get anything done for anywhere from $4 to $70/an hour, from India to Nebraska, from Twitter pages to legal docs. Invest in your freedom.
6. Stop going out of your way to get to a computer. This may sound contradictory on a time-save list but, I think i-Phones can save time and create space. The “I don’t want people to think they can get a hold of me anytime” argument is weak. Master your domain and give yourself the POWER OF MOBILITY.
7. Stop shopping for and buying gifts that need to be wrapped. It’s a rule that means you buy experiences and gift certificates for things like, concert and conference tickets, magazine subscriptions, MP3s.
8. Stop cleaning your house yourself. I seethe with resentment when I’m cleaning my stove because I could be doing something I love that makes me money. I did the math: in the three hours it takes to really clean the house, I could do a Fire Starter Session or write an article that would bring me $300 to $3000. Or nap.
9. Stop with the perfectionism. Give people a chance to rise to the occasion. My kid can dress himself (rubber boots and surf shorts look great!) Staff can figure out most things (mistakes are useful.)
10. Stop doing it alone. Team with experts. A great coach, designer, consultant, can create quantum leaps.
11. Stop subscribing. Rather than just hitting delete, go through the steps (too many steps too often) to keep your inbox squeaky clean.
12. Stop taking home “free” stuff - pens, kitsch-filled gift bags from networking events, ugly volunteer t-shirts. You will spend time moving it around or pawning it off at your neighbour’s yard sale.
13. Stop forcing yourself to finish every book you pick up because you think the ghost of your English teacher is watching.
14. Stop dying your hair. At least consider it. For that matter, examine all of your beauty synthetics and waxes and plucks and extensions and wonder how hot and less-stressed you’d be without all that maintenance. Acrylic nails do not help you be more successful. And my theory is that the world is rife with bottle-blondes who’d look much better as brunettes.
15. As for time-sucking fears and neuroses, maybe you need the 5 minute shrink appointment.
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About Danielle LaPorte
Danielle LaPorte is the author of the book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.”