Staring at my blank journal page this morning, thoughts flooded my mind of things I want to stop doing. This year. This Month. Today. This is just one of the many reasons I love journaling.
As a writer, it feels like a natural extension of my work. It fuels my professional work but also brings blurry corners of my life into creative and productive focus.
Here’s a quick writing exercise for you: take out a pen and paper (or open a digital document) and list 10 things you’d like to stop doing.
Your not-to-do list.
Then, pick just one thing and decide today to stop. You can revisit your list every day (or week) and keep making tiny, incremental changes to your life.
Tiny steps scale mountains.
Sometimes we over-focus on the things we need to do when really, we would accomplish so much more if we stopped doing certain things. By habit, our days are filled with distractions and habits that probably aren’t serving us anymore.
Creating a not-to-do list helps you become aware of these time-sucking habits, and hopefully eliminate them.
Here’s my list. Most of these arent’ the traditional ‘productivity-related’ items, but they help me nonetheless. For me, it’s more about putting a stop to things that put me in a low, distracted, or self-critical state.
Today, I’ve decided to stop
Ignoring my voice
Restraining my laugh
Covering up smiles
Listening to nonsense
Scrolling through time
Sitting still when I need to move
Moving when I need to sit still
Nodding when I disagree
Accepting what I need to reject
Staying when I need to go
Dulling my shine
Quieting my voice
Regretting my life lessons
Criticizing my mistakes
Stepping on my dreams
Sleeping on my talents
Selling my heart
To strangers masked in gold
I have decided
What have you decided to stop doing?