1001 Tips for Military Families – Tip #401

To Don’t List – Tip #401

I am a person that writes ‘to do’ lists.  I need them to remind me of pretty much everything.  I don’t obsessively reference back to them but they help me to organize my thoughts.  When I do finally get back to looking at my list it always feels so good when I tick something off  it.  I feel as though I have accomplished something and another weight is lifted off my shoulders.  I was lucky enough to attend a conference with Daniel Pink (author) and he really got me thinking about a ‘To Don’t’ list, creativity and motivation (I sometimes really lack it!).  The idea is that you write down all of the things you don’t want to spend your precious time doing.  As military families we can get caught up in a lot of those ‘could a, should a, would a’ as military family life throws a lot of different curve balls.  These to don’ts are usually the time wasters that keep us from doing the things that will make our lives more interesting, enjoyable and productive.  I think his thinking (and my hope) is that if you write down the ‘to don’t’ things you will be more aware of them and less likely to spend a lot of time on them, your to do list will have more things that benefits others and yourself, you’ll be less stressed, it will be easier to say no as you know what you don’t want and your priorities will be clear.

To Don’t Suggestions:

* Don’t get lost surfing the internet for hours (you can spend way more time than you need or want to)

* Don’t eat while doing other things (you can consume 3x as many calories that you may not need)

* Don’t spend more than 30mins getting ready to go anywhere

* Don’t use the ‘to don’t’ list as an excuse not to see family or friends or avoid doing things that are important to you

* Don’t put off having a difficult conversation with ______________ as it takes up a lot of your thinking time

* Don’t spend hours on Facebook reading about what your ‘Facebook Friends’ are doing

For more information about our tips, books and resources go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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