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To Do or Not To Do: That is the Question

As I sat here at my desk yesterday morning preparing for another week, I thought about all the obligations I need to keep this week. Client work that needs to be done, prospecting calls that need to be made, administrative tasks that need to be completed, board meetings that need to be attended. Like many of you, the weekly “To Do List” was well underway.

As I added in the personal stuff, the list kept getting longer and longer. At some point I realized there was absolutely no way I could do everything on the list this week. I realized that no matter how well I managed my schedule, I simply would run out of time before I could get everything done. Or would I?

When I consider how I used my time yesterday, I realized there were some things I needed to stop doing to make my week more productive. I have a bad habit of leaving my e-mail open throughout the day, and those things I think I can handle quickly end up consuming more time than expected and throw off my entire day. I also have a bad habit of checking in with social media throughout the day, rather than scheduling some time for it. Again, things I think I can handle quickly end up consuming more time than expected.

By the time I got to the end of the day yesterday, I realized most of the things on my “To Do List” did not get done. This loss of productivity led to a second list this morning … my ”Not To Do List.” I’m guessing that you may benefit from one as well. No matter how good you are, there’s a good chance you can’t get it all done without making a commitment to stop doing a few unproductive things.

So, here’s my challenge to you. Take a look at your typical week and ask yourself if there are some things you do that you could stop doing to make yourself more productive. Create a list of those items, commit as much effort to that list as you do your “To Do List.” In the end, you’ll find you have more opportunities to say “yes” to the things that really matter in your life by saying “no” to the time suckers that consume your day.

Clint Swindall

© 2015 Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization, please visit, or contact him directly

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