Do-Not-Do List

036 The Do-Not-Do List – ProductivityCast

Commonly, we discuss how to better manage your personal productivity through the effective use of task lists. Today, we discuss a counterintuitive productivity concept that Augusto Pinaud has been using for many years–the “Do-Not-Do” List. In this way, this is another use of task lists but, in this case, it’s a way to identify what you shouldn’t do. In this episode of ProductivityCast, we discuss the idea of the Do-Not-Do list and how you might use it in your personal productivity system.

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In this Cast | The Do-Not-Do List

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Francis Wade

Art Gelwicks

Show Notes | The Do-Not-Do List

Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

How Do I Create a Not-to-Do List? by Michael Hyatt

Levenger – Steve Leveen

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Raw Text Transcript | The Do-Not-Do List

Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).

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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling, productive life? Then you’ve come to the right place productivity. Cast, the weekly show about all things productivity, hear your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
Welcome back everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and I am joined here today, as usual by Augusto Pinaud, Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks. Good morning, gentlemen. Good morning. Hey, guys, great to have you all here. Today, we are going to be talking today about something called the do-not-do list in deference to not messing up what this very vital productivity tool can be to you. I’m going to pass the microphone over to a goose. Joe okay. So do you want to explain to our audience a little bit about what the do-not-do list is and and how it functions. And then we can get into conversation about how it might be practical in a productivity system. Yes.

Augusto Pinaud 1:04
So I discovered that the idea of the do-not-do list a long, long time ago. And it was under the understanding that as you get into being more productive, getting more into productivity, getting done the most important things, there is also a set of things that you should have stopped doing that you need to pay attention is not only what we do, but he’s also us important what we stopped doing because there are things that are simply not worth it, that simply should not be in your list that you need to acknowledge that you need to stop doing that doesn’t matter what there are they would they, you know, like in productivity that will change from person to person. But it is important to acknowledge that they are things that may have been good to do or may have I never good to do that do that you need to stop doing. And that’s how this idea of the do-not-do list came for me. So I’ve been practicing this list. And he has growing and under things now that I’m so conscious that I will never do again that I have even removed out of the list. But the idea was, see what things on your day to day do you do that in the name of productivity you need to stop doing or you should stop doing so

Raymond Sidney-Smith 2:29
ago. So this is likened in my mind. And we can compare and contrast this to the National Do Not Call list registry. I don’t know why that comes to mind. When I think about this, maybe the do-not-do do not call but. But the idea here is that you’re adding things to a list that that’s filtering out in my mind, it’s filtering out calls that you don’t want to receive, but most likely commercial solicitations they’re calling you. So by getting yourself put off to this national call. Now Do Not Call Registry, you’re filtering yourself out, you’re opting out of calls? Is that what you’re doing in terms of the do-not-do list? Are you are you using that as a filter from from what shouldn’t show up in the first place on your list? Or are you are you using this as a function for looking at it and reviewing it for saying, Okay, these are the things I’m not going to do today, this week, this month. And hopefully,

Augusto Pinaud 3:28
in some of those cases, hopefully, ever. So let me let Yes, they answer The answer, obviously, like, like a lot of these answers a little bit more complex than that. So let me see, if I can give you a couple of examples of my list that then we’ll we’ll give you a better idea. Okay. And I’m going to the first six, I can give you multiple, but I’m going to give you one that is controversial. Okay, years ago, my main tool since 2012 has been the iPad, that’s my main machine. That’s what I take every day with me and I begin receiving email on my phone before that what I learned receiving email in my one of the items on my do not do list is I do not check work email on the iPhone, okay, obviously was on the iPhone, when I discover that what I was doing was constantly opened my eyes, my iPhone, checking email, seeing if there was anything just to not do anything about it, I eventually way don’t like it back to the iPad, and then do something, file organized, defined actions, whatever it was. So what I notice is, well, I’ve been extremely inefficient here because I’m opening this email inbox checking things three or four times when really there is nothing to do with it. So when I identify that I say you know what it is behavior me to stop so I want to put on my list I do not check work email and even when as far as the activate their work email on on my phone. And and actually remember, you and I were exchanging some information you may send it to you via email is that Oh, sorry, you need to send it to this special email, there is one special email that I only received from the phone and he’s the only one to receive on the phone, you know, it’s a private email, my wife have it, you have it, I think he’s a total of 10 or 15 people. I don’t want to receive anything on the email. That’s one example that I can give you another example, I do not test productivity tools that that cannot be backed up. Okay. Part of what I do as a writer and as a coach is testing productivity tools. Because sometimes I get customers who call me and say, Hey, I will love to move to travel, what I can do about travel. And you’re like, Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know anything about trailer. So you come and play and sometimes that plane require me to move for some days for a week. So I really understand how this tool works. And I have come to a rule for me as well for my clients. If the tool cannot be backed up. That’s not a tool you want to move. Because if that tool fail, you lose everything and all the effort and all the time you have put in there. So those are two examples that come into this. They are not necessarily big things, but there are things that allow me to keep in a more consistent trend of productivity, what comes to mind is not I don’t think I have a written list, but I certainly have a thought of an experience of people that I don’t want to hang out with the film degree.

Francis Wade 6:35
I know that I when I when I was dating I had a sort of invisible list of characteristics that don’t want to do it so

it was kind of what do not mess with this okay don’t mess with that kind of person. This person has this kind of profile on match dot com doing reflect to that person don’t go after the first who said that get to earn 100,000 us a year or or don’t even contact me, but I hadn’t thought of imaginary less than that’s translated into business because I recall a project that was on and I worked with this guy who was a complete unknown to me, his behaviors were soul streams. And ultimately I was so stressed as a result of it that I went looking up, you know, definitely sinful psychopath I figured over the social and learn what gaslighting is under under the narcissist do because I couldn’t figure out got it all right

all the time I did people took this list and it’s a similar set of characteristics that if someone starts pending you who they are already in a project or again in the project in a proposal fees or if I’m meeting with a client for the first time and they tell you who they are my amazing do-not-do list I guess is don’t mess with this particular kind of person I have a baby or in a on a project kind of basis because for whatever reason it could be on me and you know it could be that I’m just you know I just have the kind of flaws that not perfectly with a particular type of personality and the result is stressful but I do have Do not mess with that kind of person live whenever I meet someone who’s a lot of matters the profile and I make sure not to take any extra step so a

Raymond Sidney-Smith 8:34
gusto does that fit into the definition of what you’re talking about here what’s the way in which you create different do-not-do lists so so that’s my question is is is the do-not-do list one list is it a list that you then have different categories for so in this case Francis has a do-not-do list for people right do not interact or engage with these people and do you do you create separate lists for that and when when would you review that kind of list

Augusto Pinaud 9:07
it will depend how long your list is or not I have I have a one that I call the do not need lives get that really is part of the do-not-do list because he’s you know it’s things for example once in a while I get this idea that I should get or used to before before they the iPad pro athletes that I should go and get a planner and paper because I really wanted to play with paper okay and eventually see this is ridiculous you go play was a paper remember that you get you know I’ve strong reminder of why paper doesn’t work for you but you have to spend you know a ridiculous amount of money because you like good paper So eventually I put on my list I do not buy paper stuff because as much as sounds incredibly as soon as I implement that doesn’t work and I call it part of my do not need to least things I do not need that are there is a subset of these do-not-do list and what Francis is doing is great except he’s not writing it down and the reason I believe you should write it down is because that way you have less chance to be full by your own self you know when when Julia right the things really specifically you are less prone to romanticize what is happening there or you are going to say you know what this guy fit every requirement this list and regardless, I’m going to go against my list when that thing is on your mind do tend to play with that in a much more easier way. Because now you are negotiating with any proof that he’s never good. You know, like like that. I can give you another example that works for for a lot of people that he’s on my do-not-do list.

I used to struggle for years to wake up early. Okay, even understanding the power of waking up early I struggle term, you know, when the alarm sign at four in the morning is like, Oh, my five more minutes. Okay. And well, everybody knows what happened after five more minutes. So after struggling with this for a little bit, I say okay, this is getting ridiculous. I kind of wake up and I need to wake up at that time.

Because I need that time. And so I notice, okay, let me see what he’s a problem. And what I came up with was the decision or the rule for that do-not-do list that says, I do not negotiate my wake up time in the morning. But the night before. So before I go to bed, I can say you know what, I’m tired. I’m going to sleep until six. But if instead of that, I say I’m tired. But I’m anyways going to wake up at four, then that’s the end of the negotiation at 4am. When that alarm sound Sorry, my self is more like a. And he will never wait time

there is no negotiation at that time. I got 4am. If I said the night before, it’s 4am. When that alarm sound. There is not five minutes there is not Oh, it’s you know, it’s cold, or I’m tired. Or my or I asleep crooked. And then my back hurt. Not too bad. Sorry, dude. You know, tomorrow, you can you know tonight, you can negotiate for tomorrow. But you cannot negotiate in the morning. And what that did was increased. My rate of success was waking up at four in the morning that then bring me an incredible set of results on things that I accomplished that I knew it was going to accomplish. I was just struggling terribly with the idea of waking up that early.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:48
That’s a great example. So thank you for sharing that art. I wanted to turn over to you for a moment and ask do you use the do-not-do list in your world do you us a flavor of it. In listening to what Francis and a goose have laid out here so far, I realized that I do actually use a version

Art Gelwicks 13:09
of this list approach. And I use it with Amazon I have a list kind of a wish list with an Amazon that I use as my by but do not pay for list. for lack of a better term, what I’m dealing with is that natural reaction, we all have that dopamine trigger hitting the Add to Cart button for something cool that we find in Amazon. It’s one of those things where I’ll see the deals that come through is like, oh, that that really looks cool. Or that that microphone looks neat. Or that set of headphones looks while in rather than hitting the one click to purchase I’ll go through and I’ll add it to my maybe purchase list. By doing that though, I discovered two things happen one, I get that little dopa mean click of like, Oh, that’s cool. I could

Unknown 14:03
get that. The

Art Gelwicks 14:04
other thing though, is I found that I often will forget that I’ve done that because I’ve completed that action. And I’ve looked at it, I’ve analyzed it, I’ve decided Yep, that’s cool. But I don’t actually make the purchase. And I go back 234 weeks later. And I look at that list. And I go, what the heck was I thinking about getting that for. So it’s the same type of a behavior, you’re, you’re capturing the idea, the issue the topic, in this case, the thing in the shopping cart, you’re mentally processing it. And you’re deciding that you know what, I don’t ever need to do anything with this. This is not not necessarily actionable. But you still need to close that loop. And I for me, that’s the best example of doing it. I don’t do it with my normal to do lists, I find those are actually a little bit more difficult, because when I put something on my to do list, I’m hesitant to take it back off. I don’t know why. It’s it’s kind of a brain thing. But I am hesitant to take it back off. So I look at it and say, okay, maybe I’ll slide this around here. Maybe I’ll move this around there and eventually gets to the point where it’s been on the list so long, it’s like, you know, it’s not getting done, it’s got to come off.

So maybe I’ll tackle prioritization to help with the do-not-do list part of it. But that’s the closest I have to something that I currently do all the time.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:22
So, so how I’m understanding this, and I’m repeating for my own edification here. And I and I think listeners will hopefully appreciate that which is, as I’m hearing it, I’m thinking about the the reality that like a to do list task list or even a shopping list by reducing its prioritization and your case, adding it to a wish list, you’re creating some level of balance right? The space between stimulus and responses as Dr. Victor Frankel and Dr. Covey expanded upon is, you know, space between stimulus and response is control, creating some distance between what triggers you to do something and what you’re going to eventually do gives you perspective and control on that thing, maybe when you feel like you’re going to do something you don’t want to do and you’re triggered by that creating a list that you can then sort of track as maybe I don’t, it’s sort of like when I write an angry email I write my more of them than I that I care to care to admit but but I but I write angry emails on occasion and then I save them to draft a couple hours later I look at that email I go Okay. That person did not mean probably what they said and or you know, I’m just you know, I was in a bad mood and and then I redraft that email and now it sounds less crabby. Right? It sounds less grumpy from me. And then I go along. So, I could potentially have a list of things of like, okay, these are triggers. So when when I’m triggered by these things, let’s defer them to a list in this case, my draft emails is a list and and park them there for some period of time is that is that kind of where I’m where you’re coming from art?

Art Gelwicks 17:11
Well, there’s, there’s an approach to it tied to the prioritization of tasks where you look at, you know, priorities, if I think about to do is it’s got priorities one through four, if I remember correctly, and if you bump it all the way down to the bottom of that priority structure, you’re basically saying, I’m probably never going to do anything with this.

It’s the same mindset. The only problem I get into with this whole approach is, and this is this is nothing criticizing on on what a goose does lining out, because I think it’s a it’s a great way to handle these kinds of things is I can see the pushback on how much effort are you putting into managing, managing and administering the things that you are blatantly saying you’re never going to do? Is there too much work for no return? I’m not sure. Um, it’s more of a question than an answer.

Augusto Pinaud 18:07
Let me give you an example of one of the first item said got into this list that I thought maybe that the newer saying, you know, when I grow up, and as a kid, you know, and part of my weekly allowance was tied up to clean my parents card, my dad car specifically, okay. And for some reason, or at least, that’s how I remember it. Okay, he made it. So he was the most difficult task a human being need to do. So we could not use a hose because the house was going to be wasteful. So you need to use some pocket, okay, but until a certain point, you know, the bucket was too big. So you could only feel a little bit of the bucket. Okay, the water because I wasn’t strong enough to fill the whole book. And so these are required. I don’t know what it felt like the whole Sunday, okay, to clean the car. And then I remember my dad coming in walking around the car, okay, saying, Oh, well, it made a here I need need here. I needed here. And then you need to finish the job. That seems like never finished. Okay. But you grow up with that idea that well, you know, you need to wash the car every week and years ago, while watching the car, wash the car get back into and I’m noticing I mean, this faulty awful mood. See what I mean such a bad mood today. I have no reason to be NFL nothing has happened up to that point. And then I say well, let me see what I have done today. And then I went you know Okay, what I wake up I have breakfast to do I wash the car and I could feel the mood coming back again. I say Oh,

why am washing the car instead of taking it to whatever carwash a decent town that was the moment I said, You know what, this is not worth it. Because it’s not the 20 minutes of washing the car. It is I get mad before because I need to wash the car. I get mad for 20 minutes into the job. And then I get mad for another hour until I forget that I did the job. It’s not worth it. And that was one of the first item on that list was I will not wash my car ever again. And it was such a liberating thing. Because was the first time I gave myself permission not to do that task that makes no sense at all that it really the cost benefit relationship wasn’t even proportional. Because he wasn’t the 20 minutes and was it two hours I spend mad before and after. Other thing that I came to that list early on in the game was if I do not if you call my cell phone and I do not recognize the number or the number is on identified you’re going directly to voicemail. If it’s an important message on you are not a telemarketer you are going to say hey it’s art call me back my number is 5555555 great then I will call you back but if your number he’s not in my list I’m not even going to waste time entertaining myself what this item on the do-not-do lists give me was get read out dramatically of the guilt that was associate at some point for me of my phone ringing looking at the number and saying Should I pick Oh, it’s a number in Indianapolis. And maybe something interesting now. No, I it’s part of the rules is if you don’t know the phone number directly to their voicemail, they can leave a voicemail if it’s important. And I will go back and I may check the voicemail immediately. But instead of be two minutes of all this this Mr. Peanut now Mr. pinatas. My dad, he’s not here. Okay. I kind of avoid old dad and then just listen to the voicemail.

Francis Wade 21:46
I had a similar sort of a commitment, I remember how to do-not-do this. And that was one of the items. The other one I had was to not ever cut my own lawn ever again, after a sort of it

New Jersey and that to spend a whole day not just cutting the lawn, but bagging the grass and then driving it over to the Devo and dropping it off. And it would turn into a whole day one day over the weekend expense of managing the grass during the summer. And at some point I said this is crazy. Somebody else can do this for a lot less effort and I could pay someone have them do it and have them manage all the grass removal. But but the commonality though with that I think your finger pointing to is this sense of taking charge of a part of your life that you think you have some obligation to perform or to do or it’s just a habit of mind or of action and then coming to another level of awareness where you revoke the prior commitment and from the revoking of the commitment comes a whole new level of energy and freedom that’s certainly experienced that when I said I’m allowed to wash the car wash a car

Unknown 23:01
free after that

Augusto Pinaud 23:03
and that’s exactly what it is. You know there is a funny story of you know, this newlywed couple you know that take a newlywed and then they go to the groceries and the new wife go to the cheese thing and says can you please give me a pound of cheese and the husband is looking at the wife the new husband like worldly point of cheeses only you and I you know that’s insane well they by the pound of cheese get to the house and then the the nearly wife has started you know calling this thing really thin and then the new husband is looking at her and said you know we could have asked the people in the store to cut it for us no no this is the way it’s done Jewish slide really thin half of it and then you froze the other half and usually husband is who said that well that’s how it was done in my house and that’s a way to do it so next couple of weekends they go to the mother in law on you know the newly husband decided to us a new mother Hello while you guys pay a pound of cheese tried to cut it really thin instead of get this supermarket people do cut it and then they froze the other half well because that’s the way you do it you know you go Dubai and and froze the other half. That’s what the way my mother used to do it. Oh, okay. You know A month later they go to the grandma’s house and then the guy instead instill you know, puzzled by this going as to grandma’s. Why did you choose to buy a pound of cheese, tried to cut it really thin, and then froze. The other half Oh, is simple when we got married. The only way the only thing that fit on our fridge was half of the pound. But the cheese guy came every two weeks. So we don’t buy a full pound we will have we will need to go a week without cheese. And sadly, that’s how we do a lot of things in productivity. We look at things because that’s the way we learn it. That’s the way we used to do it. Because that was practical. When we start doing it on. Sometimes we miss to analyze the why we do certain things and put negative feelings and negative things into our list or into their actions. We do that they can really go but he’s in my experience, not until you give yourself that permission that you analyze them and get rid of them. And what they do-not-do list give us two things. One the permission to analyze it that a lot of people need, okay, me included. And second, their permission to say, you know what, I am not doing this. And this is going to be the official decision. And Funny enough, you mentioned the jarred, there is one that says I pay for someone to work exactly for the same reason you mentioned

Francis Wade 25:49
I wanted to add to that I think there’s a modern day equivalent of the cheese cheese cheese story, which is that the BlackBerry is apparently used to be shipped when there was a blackberry properties were around they were originally sipped with all of their alerts turned on, which meant that you gotta learn every piece of email that came for the Blackberry. And I heard a story that they eventually change the policy and sip blackberries without the alerts turned on only the only the phone ring with turned on. Everything else was turned off of the default. And the reason is that people around the world are going crazy. They were answering every beep buzz. And this is back in the. Maybe they’re already to Feldon when you actually used to answer every notification. And every other thing would stop in your tracks. And you would do something about it. But the inadvertent thought of

decision to the ship the items the performance with a default on lead to behaviors that we I think we still see today. And I think designers often make these decisions that reverberates our lives and have an effect on our productivity. But it’s only when we get to sort of a level of consciousness that we say, Well, why am I making myself crazy by keeping on this alert for my thing, even old look on your laptop people in my classes are amazed to hear that you can turn off the not the sort of the, the icon the visible notification, their message, you can turn these things off. And then on the question, How do I do it as well as someone in it. And it conflicts with the steps. But this whole new level of awareness is required sort of to

get the ball we can turn off some of these behavior inducements that weren’t really put there by anyone with our best intentions in mind, what

Raymond Sidney-Smith 27:49
we’re talking about here in terms of a do-not-do list can be manifested in many different ways. I’m from what I’m hearing my own experience with this is to for I created a mission statement probably 20 plus years ago, and have been modifying that mission statement. And to a great extent, some of the things that we’re talking about here are those things that appear on that mission statement. And they are it’s a it’s, but it’s, it’s there are things that I will do and will not do and their values statements, though, so they’re not necessarily very specific granular items that I’m not going to do. But they certainly fit a category of things that I won’t allow in my life, or won’t allow myself to deal with. And then there’s the other, which is more tactical and technological. Which is, yeah, I mean, for many years, the first thing I did, every time I got a new computer was install all of the various software that I wanted to, and then immediately turned off all the notifications, you should opt into notifications, you shouldn’t be opted into the notifications automatically, by very much believe in in this idea that no one should be automatically pushing you all these notifications from applications especially email where the the volume is, is so high today. In line with that, let’s talk a little bit about how to create a do-not-do list. I mean, so so the first thing out the gate is that you can go online and if you just type in do-not-do or the not do list you will find many productivity blog posts with examples of these and the with that in mind though I really liked Michael Hyatt had put out a blog posts and he gave a kind of a good list of things you can do in order to create a do-not-do list or what he called a not to do list. And and I thought it was a it was a sort of an easy, thoughtful six item list. So I’m just going to read these off and then we can kind of discuss around them. So he said number one, and I’m quoting from the article, find a quiet place where you can think to look at your previous month’s calendar activities. Write down anything you’re not sure really fits your current job description. Three, look at your upcoming appointments for the next month. Write down things that are questionable in terms of your current job description for go through your to do list or lists and do the same thing right down the questionable activities. Given your new role five, you should now have a list of not to do candidates and then six. Now go through the list and put an asterisk beside each item that is significant enough that you want to add it to your official not to do list and shove it off your plate and quote, so I’ll put a link to this post in the show notes. So a gusto going back to your own methodology for doing this. It sounds fairly organic. For listeners who were attempting to come up with a do-not-do list, how should they approach it? What should they wish should they start? Is what Michael Hi, it’s talking about here. A good methodology? Is there more that you would add to it

Augusto Pinaud 31:11
is always keep it simple, okay, no, you don’t need to have 30 items list or it can be a one item. But pay attention to two things, you know, what are the things that usually the things tend to be part of your routine and tend to bring a high emotional component. So, you know, as Francis was sharing, you know, well, I was noticing I was spending a whole day you know, doing this backyard thing. Well, I guarantee you, without knowing that I then that day, Francis wasn’t feel proud about the fact that he waste a whole Sunday or Saturday or day, okay, doing the biker, it was the other way around. He was frustrated. So pay attention to the that emotional component. Okay, one second, pay attention to when you get frustrated. And there is a difference between the emotional components and the frustration. frustration is a really specific one. Because a lot of times those frustrations, what it means is you are doing something that a you should not do or beat you should do in a different way. Or see you should pay somebody to do that is fine. Okay, pay attention to those two elements. And let the list come organically. Yeah, my list has probably 10 items. It’s not that long, but hasn’t come in a day has taken me a while. As soon as you identify the first one, then you will find others that will come that should come in there. You know, I have one I have mentioned a couple that I have on my list. And I have one that says I do not finish a book that I do not enjoy after more than 25% of the book is read if is if I’m not enjoying it, I just dump it you know, I I’d read over 60 books a year. And for the longest time, I will need to finish the book. And what that did was it slowed down my reading process because I look at the book and so I don’t want to read this is Jennifer. I’m not getting into the book or I don’t enjoy the book and then took me forever to finish the book. And I want some point I Steve Levine from 11 year mentioned a comment about dropping the book. And I say that is true why I’m if I’m if there’s so many books out there. Why am suffering through this book that I’m not enjoying. And I went to my to do list. Think about it and say, You know what, from now on every book, I have rich 25% of the book and if I’m not enjoying the book out and by the way, if you’re reading one of the books I have wrote on you’re not enjoying it, please dump it. You know it is works everywhere.

but be patient with this list is a list will come if you start paying attention. The second is write it down. No Judah need to come every morning and let me read Duluth if you do it. Maybe every other week, maybe during your weekly review. Maybe every other week, at least once a month will be enough that usually the things that will end up in the list have the emotional component that you will remember what are the things that you just give permission to, you know, nobody’s suspending the Saturday or Sunday doing the backdrop that they dislike okay and when they finally give themselves permission to hire somebody figured it out or simply make this you know what we are going to be the ones with a yard and we are okay with that even if that is the decision you’re going to remember those kind of decisions things as art mentioned hey we put it in this list and eventually we decide you know he’s coming if we go to getting things done term basically he’s putting that all that information and although things into a trigger fire and saying well let’s review it once in a while and once in a while and say until we’re really ready and then eventually said well not interested. Dump it. Same thing you know, I I I have on my list, you know, the apple 2527 inch monitors I don’t have a computer to connect to that my main machine is an iPad okay and I you still have walked into the Apple Store and look at those and say wow, that Lou will look so nice my home office okay I do not even have a computer to connect to that but regardless it’s a piece of technology that I will buy okay that not only will buy that I will spend hours thinking about how I’m going to make it work and suddenly said you know what, out No, it’s coming to the list and then every time to thinking is coming I go nope that is on the list of this thinking cycles you cannot use and six cycles for that I have on my list. I will not get a low convertible It’s not that I have one I had bought two of them okay because the first one will may have been the model so I bought it this like it sold it but a second what another car sold that car then bought another compatible I was like no I haven’t romantic idea of this compatible. But when I get into that thing really low. I don’t like them. So now if you look into my list as I will never buy another compatible because I don’t like the car that are really low. So but the problem is not that okay. The problem is before I put it in the list. I spend hours ruminating about how if I get a convertible or I see the picture of our competitors all that will be nice. Let me look on line what are what is online about convertible right now. What are the hot as one? What are the new was one I know you spent hours researching a vehicle that no I should not get period. So

it’s not only about actions. It’s also about things it’s also about again, do you need to understand what makes you productive and what you need to stop doing. Because he dropped you out of that productivity part, you know, for me spending an hour to research and convertibles not I should not buy. Because I will not enjoy. It’s not the best use of my time. So having that list and having that item in that list. Remind me immediately. Nope, this is a decision we make long time ago and have the decision and I can move forward instead of spending the hours on maybe going to the dealers and maybe test drive compatible.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:58
So it sounds to me like there’s a little bit of reflection that can be done from things that are emotionally negative for you. And figuring out those things that you do not want to do in the future because of them. And then it also sounds like there can be some contemplation about about forecasting things that would not be healthy for you to do in the future. And at all. You know what I mean. So I know that I’m not built for, you know, yard work to continue Francis’s story from earlier. And so, you know, not that I’m incapable of doing it. But I know that there are just things that are more important for me to spend my time doing. So that’s going to naturally be something that I’m going to think about. So from my perspective for, for the listening audience, what what I would do and what I do do is immediate things immediately think of things that I should not be doing that we’d be wasting my time, in essence, or causing me great emotional distress, right, as an as an acoustic story about, you know, cleaning the car, go ahead and create systems put systems in place so that you don’t have to do them right, either through automation, you know, creating greater efficiency first, you know, automation, then potentially delegating that to someone else, whether that be you know, someone in your family in a use case, you could pass it pass the torch down of cleaning the car to one of your children.

But if you want to, if you want to save them from that, then obviously finding a vendor to be able to do that for you. So it sounds to me like there’s a there’s a clear there’s a natural progression here of saying, Okay, this is not going to be done at all. And I think it goes to you said that, right? We’re just going to be the folks with the bad lawn, we’re not going to we’re just not going to deal with that and and we’re just gonna be comfortable with that level, then it’s okay, well, how can we create greater efficiency if we are going to do it? How are we going to automate this if possible, there are those automated they’re like room buzz but for the lawn right, so you just put the little room out there and it goes out and cuts your lawn and does all the work for you, you know, and and then finally hiring a lawn mowing service. And and so they’re they’re a wide variety of ways in which you can manifest the do-not-do list in real time without actually keeping a list so to speak. And and then there is the actual overt keeping of a list with granular specific items that you are not going to do and that you review on occasion, is there anything that I missed in there

Francis Wade 40:39
and said about the emotional for the emotional trauma being the reason why you’re one of I’d probably do-not-do this, I just started my own not doing this clearing keep after several years of not having one I’m inspired by what he said. And I, I have I just identified one that I have, that’s a difficult one to me. And it’s the stop speaking when someone else’s typing.

Very simple, right. So difficulty comes when the other person is a prospective client, for example, and I’m in that meeting with them. And they drift over to their smartphone, and we’re talking about something important and you’re gone and the discipline method to suck up until they either notice or it stop typing or return their attention to the conversation or 2% it’s it’s difficult. No, it it it one thing is to identify the habit or the or the trigger that sets off the habit, the new habit I’m trying to put in place I think you have it sometimes can help. So when you have a not doing list, because the trigger could be some it and then you have to start that you have it as opposed to going into an old one. But in this case, it it seeing the trigger

and then having the courage to engage in this brand new habit, which is the same as not engaging in the old habit. But it’s that courage to go it when it’s difficult when you’re trying to impress the client and meeting them for the potential plan to return them for the first time and the engage and in this behavior and sticking to your guns in that moment.

It’s a I don’t have any bad experiences to share from from doing this. But there are others that are a little bit like that where I have to confront the clamp double somebody’s behavior that are also more difficult. But the courage I think, is essential, it’s essential to overcome emotional trauma and have it repeat itself.

Art Gelwicks 42:47
Yeah, I just looking at this whole process. And I think there’s there’s a great deal of value to this.

I think everybody’s going to have to approach this one. Personally, I don’t know that there’s a a clear guidance that can be provided to say this is how you take your stuff and sub divided into what not to do what to do. And you’re going to have to go through this one kind of trial by error or trial and error and get a sense as to how do you feel most comfortable sloughing things off of what you’re doing. It’s a really critical thing to do, though. And I think all of us need to put a little bit more effort into making sure that we’re doing the correct things that a tagline I use all the time is productivity is doing the right thing at the right time in the right way. And I think this absolutely Mary’s to that.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 43:42
I would agree this is a very personal process and and requires reflection and planning so that you are capable of doing it at the same time it hearkens to for me in the getting things done, or GTD weekly review. This is this is the time in which I am looking at my system and looking at things that are inefficient or you know are competing with my responsiveness and or if my responsiveness is competing with my effectiveness and and dealing with the things that I will and will not do going forward. Thank you everybody for this conversation. Do you have any questions or comments about this episode, something we discussed in the cast or otherwise about personal productivity please visit productivity cast dot net forward slash contact and let us know thanks to a gusto, Francis and art for joining me here on this cast. You can find this episodes, show notes and the links to anything that we discussed and how to subscribe there at productivity cast dot net forward slash 036. That’s the episode number 036. And if you could feel free to leave a rating or review in iTunes to help us grow our personal productivity community of listeners like you. So thank you. That brings us to the club. This episode of productivity cast the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks, here’s your productive life.

Voiceover Artist 45:10
And that’s it for this productivity. Cast. The weekly show about all things productivity with your host race, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.


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