Creating a Not To-Do List for Better Productivity

make a not to-do list and be more productive

We’re all familiar with what a to-do list is. And whoever uses it, knows the benefits of having all your tasks written down in advance, and then always knowing what’s left to get done.

It’s a simple and yet powerful strategy to be productive and finish all the important things you want to.

But the problem comes when people start to include many more items in it than they should. Then this list – that was supposed to be short and to the point – gets bigger and bigger, and at some point you start avoiding even looking at it.

Also, we often lose focus, get distracted, start doing other things that only waste out time and get us nowhere.
That’s when it’s time for a not to-do list.

It’s the opposite of the to-do one, and as Tim Ferriss says:

“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

I’m sure there are things you find yourself doing without realizing, stuff that takes you hours but doesn’t really change anything, old procrastination habits, and so on.
Well, write all these down and be mindful of them.

Sit down and take some time to figure out what these activities are, and make a list for the next day. Then, look at it as often as you look at your to-do list.

The result?

You’ll get much more done, will feel proud of yourself, won’t be under the control of the time-wasting habits of our generation (like social media), will have more time for meaningful tasks, and will be more focused throughout the whole day.

What can you include in a not to-do list?

– checking email more than 2 times a day;
– using your phone in bed;
– getting up after 8 am;
– being late;
– watching TV;
– thinking about editing when writing;
– spending time with people that make you feel bad about yourself (here are 5 types to avoid);
– doing tasks someone else is supposed to do;
– eating sugar;
– drinking coffee on an empty stomach;
– trying to do more than one thing at a time;
– feeling upset about something you can’t change;
– drinking during the week;
etc.

You get the point.

Include all the things you want to stop doing, the stuff you feel is taking you nowhere, the annoying habits you have that you want to avoid.

Once you make such a list your mind will consider them something important than needs to get done. And it will be more conscious of these activities, in this case – its goal will be to avoid them no matter what.

So that’s a simple and easy technique, but which can be powerful beyond measure once you implement it and make it an important part of your days.

What would you include in such a list?

See also:

The Not-To-Do List: 9 habits to stop now
Why creating a not to-do list leads to innovation?
Say ‘no’ to these 5 things for an immediate life improvement
Six things to put on your to-not-do list
Do you have a not to-do list? (plus an example)

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How to Have Energy All Day When You Work from Home

energy focus and productivity tips for anyone working from home all day

Lack of energy is one of the challenges of working from home. Staying focused and productive, keeping our motivation levels up, not getting distracted and ignoring interruptions are all things we struggle with as bloggers, freelancers and online business owners.

In fact, I got lazy earlier today around noon and that annoyed me a bit. It’s proof that even years of working from home aren’t enough to get rid of this. It’s just how the body and brain work. And while there are some productivity and energy hacks we can try, it’s something we’ll need to make peace with.

But I was determined not give up and call it a day and start doing unproductive things. Instead, I finished an article I was writing for a client and did a few other little things. One more cup of coffee and I started getting ready to go out. I hit the gym and felt accomplished. Imagine if I stayed at home allowing the lack of energy and mental clarity to take over?

It’s always better to just start doing stuff, as you’ll see below. If you too are working from home and struggle with keeping your energy for the whole day, here are some tips that really work:

Tips for Staying Energetic When Working from Home

Check out some tips on how to get more done and keep your energy for the whole day when you work from home:

1. Work while standing.

You can alternate periods of sitting and standing while working from home. Or you can just do it while standing for a few hours.

I begin the day by creating a fake standing desk, placing my MacBook on it and working like that. These are my sacred hours and I do my most important work then. Standing definitely keeps me alert and helps me be more productive.

But don’t just take my word for it. It’s science-backed. Plenty of studies have found that working from a standing desk improves not just productivity but also health.

2. Get moving.

When you’re doing work on your laptop, especially if it’s something repetitive, rather boring or just a project you’ve been stuck with for a long time, you can easily feel sleepy. To get your focus and energy back, get up and do something.

Declutter a bit, do a chore, go to the store, take a shower, start getting ready for going out even if it’s too early for that, do a few squats.

Any type of movement would be beneficial to your energy levels. That’s a quick trick whenever you start feeling lazy but have more work to do.

3. Snack strategically.

I’m a fan of intermittent fasting and don’t have a big meal in the first part of the day. The first calories I consume are from the milk in my coffee. Then, during or after my most important work for the day, I eat yogurt and nuts, an omelet or a fruit. These all give me energy yet they don’t make me feel full or get distracted.

A big meal, however, especially one rich in carbs, would ruin my productivity. I’ll even feel like napping right after it and no work is usually done after that.

Find what works best for you but know that some snacks are better than others. Here are some productivity-boosting foods to check out.

4. Go outside.

The fresh air, the act of leaving home itself, being around people and being in public are all things that will freshen you up and make you alert. You can take a walk, be in nature or just spend 15 minutes outside your building.

Here’s why sunlight and fresh air are great for the body and mind.

5. Gather all your willpower.

Earlier today when I felt like skipping the gym and leaving the rest of the work I had planned for the day for tomorrow, I imagined how bad I’ll feel in the evening. And especially tomorrow when I’ll have to compensate for all that.

I like my productive self the most and know it’s a matter of willpower to get things done.

Working from home makes us lazier indeed but the energy itself isn’t gone, we just need to remember why we do what we do and bring it back by building momentum.

So that’s kind of a mind hack to have energy all day when you work from home.

6. Get social.

Freelance isolation is a real thing. I’m personally struggling with that too. Social interaction makes up happy and gives meaning to our days. We crave it especially when we run an online business and spend most of our time at home.

So to wake up your mind and get it ready for more work call a friend, get a client on a video call, have a meeting with your virtual staff, or meet with a friend for coffee.

If you need more social interaction around the afternoon slump, take your laptop to a coffice or a coworking space.

7. Hit the gym.

That works for me every time. It’s the part with getting there that’s the challenge.

You need to get ready, leave home and actually have a proper workout. But the feeling after it is great. Fitness is one of the main reason why I can focus in the first part of the day and why I’m more productive and energetic for the whole day in general.

So that’s how I beat laziness when working from home and save focus and productive energy for the day. You can do the same.

We all struggle with the afternoon slump and lack of focus and productivity when working from home. Here are my best tips to beat laziness and have energy for the whole day when you work from home: #workfromhometips #productivityhacks #findfocus #workingfromhome