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Why a Don’t Do List Is More Important Than a To Do List

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While a to do list is a crucial part to a successful day, building a don’t do list is likely to have much longer and further reaching benefits to your success. Where to do lists are all about the tactical things you need to work through in a given day or for a project, a don’t do list is all about the strategic things you’re going to cut out of your life.

With those things out of your life you’ve got room to get the most important tasks of the day done. Once we are specific about calling out the things we’re not going to do in a day, it gets much harder for the urgent but not important tasks to consume huge swaths of our day.

A don’t do list helps ensure that we have a default no to so many commitments and thus the margin we need for our important tasks.

If you want to be more successful by building a don’t do list, here are 3 questions to ask yourself:

1. What saps your energy for the day?

The first place to start as we build out a don’t do list is to figure out what saps your energy in the day. If checking your email kills your productivity for the rest of the day then add no email before noon to your don’t do list.

If morning meetings, or writing, or phone calls regularly derail your work on the most important projects in your life, then cut them out. Maybe that means you don’t do them in the morning or perhaps you only do calls on Tuesday’s.

If you can cut those energy draining tasks out of your most productive parts of the day you’re now free to get your 3 most important tasks done without interruption. Then when your energy is lower you can do the tasks that are troublesome anyway and know you got your most important tasks of the day done.

“Without passion, you don’t have anything, without energy you have nothing.” – Donald Trump

2. Which projects sound interesting, but are really just procrastination techniques?

Many of us have great ideas regularly. Ideas we’d love to pursue and would be a great success. The problem is that these ideas regularly come up in the midst of current projects right at the point where we’re in the messy middle grinding out the hard work to complete a project.

You’re writing a book and one of the research pieces gives you a bunch of ideas about other things you could write that aren’t about the book you should be working on. When these new ideas come up, write them on your don’t do list.

You’re actively deciding that it’s good enough idea to write down, but now is not the time to waste energy on it. Once you’re done with your current, more important project push, come back to the ideas on your don’t do list and take one off and run that project to completion.

3. What does everyone else view as normal?

How many people around you think it’s totally normal to get interrupted by their phone every 5 minutes? They dive into answering Tweets or checking Facebook and in the process continually get distracted from their work.

Many things that everyone views as normal should go on your list of things you’re never going to do. If you can cut out so much of the fluff that people engage in everyday, then you’re going to have the time to dive into the projects that matter.

What’s ‘normal’ is also average, and no one wakes up expecting to be average. If you don’t want to be average put most of what those around you view as normal on your don’t do list.

If you can use these 3 questions above to build your don’t do list and then stick to it, you’re going to have so much more space in your life. Space to improve yourself with reading. Space to build relationships with those you care about. Space to build the business you want to build.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

Have you created your don’t do list before? How has it helped you? Leave your comments below!

Curtis McHale is a business coach and speaker. He mainly focuses on helping businesses build effective processes for vetting ideal clients and building a business that doesn’t take every hour of every day to run. A number of his clients have seen 30% jumps in income with no extra time needed.

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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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