First off, are you familiar with Warren Buffet? Warren is the most successful investor of the 20th century and was ranked the third wealthiest person in 2015.

The idea of the Not To Do list came from a discussion that Warren Buffet had with his pilot one day (yes Warren Buffet has his own pilot), let’s call the pilot Benson.

Warren asked Benson to write down 25 goals he wants to accomplish in his career. Benson came back with a list of 25 career goals.
Warren then asked him to circle the top 5 items that were the most important of the list.

The next question to Benson was “Now how are you going to go about achieving this list of goals?”
Benson’s response: “Well, I’d primarily do the five goals on my first list, then the 20 other goals would be secondary. I’d get to them if I had time.”

Warren Buffett said, “No. You’ve got it all wrong.”

You can just read the article if you like, but basically, the spoiler is to make two lists.
A To Do list of the top 5 items, and a NOT To Do list of the remaining 20.

The main threats to achieving your top 5 goals, are the following 5 goals.

Only once you have completed all 5 items on your To Do list, can you begin on the next 5 (no more) items.

Daily NOT To Do list

The above scenario talked about having a list for career goals.

The same method can (and probably should) be used for daily tasks as well.

Things you might put on your Daily NOT To Do list might be:

  • Do Not check emails before 10am and after 4pm
  • Do Not answer ‘No Caller ID’ phone calls
  • Do Not skip lunch break
  • Do Not do that thing that can wait until next week (even if it excites you more), so you can get this weeks priorities done first.
  • Do Not waste your time doing tasks that fit into other workmates job descriptions.

I’m sure you can think of your own to add, and when you do, print it off, laminate it if you can, and blue-tack it to your desk, or bookshelf, or computer screen (if that’s your thing).

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