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Why You Should Create a To NOT Do List

To NOT Do ListPart of the work I do with the owners of IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) is inevitably based around time management and productivity. I say inevitably, because for all of us trying to grow a business – there are too many things that need to be done, and not enough time to do them.

With the fact being that the number of hours in a day isn’t about to increase anytime soon, you need to learn how to cut out the unimportant and focus on the important activities that will move you forwards.

I teach business owners about GTD, I share with them techniques on how to manage e-mail, and talk about being in the moment.

But the biggest challenge? Giving up the un-important. Discarding those things you shouldn’t be doing. Breaking the time-eating habits you’ve formed.

The Not To Do List

Many of us have “To Do” lists. I’m now suggesting we should also have “To NOT Do” lists that might feature:-

  • Do NOT check e-mail until you’ve completed an important task
  • Do NOT check e-mail more than twice per day
  • Do NOT look at Twitter more than once an hour
  • Do NOT look at Facebook until after work
  • Do NOT eat your lunch at your desk
  • Do NOT schedule meetings back-to-back


There are plenty more, and you will probably have a list that looks different to mine, but by creating a To NOT Do list and writing out the activities you know aren’t productive, you’ll be going a long way towards becoming more aware of those “tasks” that actually do little good and in reality eat time that is better spent elsewhere.


photo credit: ironybelle via photopin cc

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Richard Tubb

I help IT companies grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. My clients are business owners of small to medium sized IT firms. at Tubblog
I help IT business owner's to free up their time, concentrate on what is important, and build a business that can run without them.


  1. Good post. The only point I disagree with (which is down to personal preference) is back to back meetings. I really enjoy back to back meetings. I find a lot of productive discussion can take place. Firstly, I am already in the mindset for a discussion as I have just been in one. Secondly, I waste a lot of time before meetings preparing. With back to back I am stopped from wasting this time and find that my presentation, discussion and overall meeting goes a lot better when I am thinking of the top my head rather than referring to prepared items. Finally, I find that time just flies when I am in a meeting.

    • James – thanks for the feedback! What you are doing there is “batching” your meetings and if it works for you – then great! What I find though is that I need time to think on, absorb the content of and re-group after a meeting. Rushing straight into another meeting often means my mind is still running through the potential “To Do’s” and actions from the previous meeting rather than focusing on the current meeting.

      But whatever works best for you, I say go for it!

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