My mom loves to cut out articles from magazines and newspapers that she knows may be of interest to me. She’s done it for decades. She once gave me an article about taking things off your to-do list.
Of course, it immediately drew me in because I’m a huge advocate of having only a few things on your task list because it allows you to be more productive.
It seems counterintuitive to have six things or less each day on your list, for both your business and personal life. But it’ll change your life by having a narrow focus each month, week, and day.
You’ll stop rushing to simply get things checked off the list, and you’ll do each item with excellence. Things will get done faster, in most cases, because you’ll be totally present rather than thinking about what’s next on the list and trying to hurry, hurry, hurry.
All this talk about to-do lists got me thinking about an exercise I learned back at The Coaches Training Institute. In their balance course, they ask you to make a list of things you’re saying “YES” to and “NO” to.
I’ve always found that creating a list of things you’ll stop doing is a transformational exercise if you follow through and truly say no.
Here are some examples of things to let go of that’ll give you freedom, empowerment, and prosperity.
Say no to:
- Conversing with people who always talk about what’s going wrong
- Paying bills late
- Checking email several times within an hour
- Stressing about money
- Spending more than you make
- Not planning ahead
- Making decisions while in a place of reaction or disconnection
- Doing everything yourself in your business
- Clients who aren’t 5-Star
- Being late
- Breaking your own set of boundaries
- Not returning phone calls
- Saying yes to every opportunity before checking in to see if it serves your goals, schedule, and bank account
- Thinking you may fail
- Feeling obligated or guilty
The flip side of this exercise is to decide what you’ll do instead. There are trade-offs to every decision you make. You’re always saying yes to one thing and no to another. But be more deliberate about those choices and you’ll receive huge payoffs.