The Not-To-Do List

All of us use leverage in one way or another. Whether it’s buying your food at a grocery store instead of growing it yourself or buying a car instead of building one, leverage appears everywhere in our lives. Most of us just don’t look at it this way.

Creating a not-to-do list is about maximizing your leverage. I won’t claim to have created the not-to-do list. Wendy Papasan deserves the credit. But I wanted to mention it here because it’s a powerful tool that can save you time in your professional and personal life.

Buy time with the money you create

The key to creating a not-to-do list is buying more time. We don’t have to do things that restrict us from dedicating our full attention to what really matters. Maybe it would be better for you to pay someone to do your laundry, or maybe there’s a task in your business you really dislike doing and someone else would be better suited for it.

Change the way you think about what you need to do

What are you not leveraging that you know you should be? To make the first step toward adding to your list, you need to change the way you think about what you need to do, and ultimately, what your time is worth. Sure, you might be able to do something yourself, but you aren’t saving money by not outsourcing it when you could be reinvesting that time into something more valuable.

Building Your Not to Do List 

To start thinking about this, create a system that you can access across multiple devices, like EverNote or Google Docs, and start adding to it as you go through your week.

Three types of tasks to add to your not-to-list:

  1. You don’t like doing it
  2. You don’t want to do it
  3. You shouldn’t be doing it

Make adding to your list a habit

I highly recommend you set two alarms on your phone, one at the beginning of the day and one at the end. Use them to remind yourself to add to your list. Most of us are already in the habit of making a to-do list, so adding to your not-to-do list isn’t a great departure from what you are already used to doing.

Don’t limit yourself

Think of your list the same way a kid thinks of their Christmas list, adding to it without first considering how it’s going to happen. Things may seem impossible to outsource at first, but when you have a chance to think about ways of doing it, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can find solutions.

Many of you may think there’s no way you can outsource a specific task or that you don’t have the time to train someone else to do it. But that’s where the list becomes extremely useful. Your list can quickly turn into a job description, revealing the demands of a missing person in your life. Your ledger might even become a training guide.

Act your wage

If you are going to net a million, you need to start acting your wage. When you aren’t comfortable paying someone to do something that isn’t worth your effort, how do you expect to start focusing on the bigger picture? Get comfortable paying others to do tasks that waste your time and only focus your energy where it’s needed most.