If you’re busy like me, you are probably very familiar with “to do” lists. I make them all of the time. In fact, at any given moment, I probably have two or three running to do lists on various sheets of paper in my room or tucked in my planner.
“Do you have a ‘stop doing’ list?” The question was posed to me by the book “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins, which I am reading for work. I’m guessing the idea sounds as foreign to you as it did to me when I first came across it.
In reality, though, it makes perfect sense. “Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives,” Collins explains in the book (139). “We have ever-expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing–and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of ‘stop doing’ lists as ‘to do’ lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”
I came to see that a “stop doing” list can be a great way to help generate growth and change in life by helping cut down on things that don’t matter, are detractors from your goals and/or are wastes of time. I am certainly going to try building one of these lists! For instance, I really need to stop spending money on clothes I don’t need because I am trying to save money for vacation. What things would you put on your own “stop doing” list?