Everybody knows what a To-Do list is. It’s that list of things that reminds you what it is you need to get done today.  This is handy for keeping you moving forward and taking action towards your dreams and goals on a daily basis.  If you’re already using this powerful tool, then congratulations.

But you probably never heard of a To-Don’t list.  That’s right, that wasn’t a typo.  A To-Don’t list includes all those things that you absolutely must AVOID DOING each day because they hold you back from doing all the things on your To-Do list.

To-Don’ts are things that waste time, distract you from doing what’s important or that take away from your happiness.  They can be bad habits, people or non-productive tasks.  Successful people have discovered the power of the To-Don’t list.  They understand that knowing what NOT to do is just as important, if not more so, than knowing what to do.

If you want to master the art of focus and stay on task toward accomplishing your dreams and goals then you simply must incorporate the To-Don’t list into your daily activity.  And the great thing about this list is once you write it down one time, it usually is the same every day, so you don’t have to write a new one for each new day.  Here are some examples of what should go on your To-Don’t list:

Excessive TV watching–  One trait go-getters share in common is the understanding that wasting hours in front of the television every day takes away critical time they could otherwise be spending in the pursuit of their dreams.  So, they either drastically cut it down or avoid it altogether.

Procrastination–  No one stumbled into success by putting off the effort until tomorrow.  Successful people know that procrastination is a no-no in their daily pursuits.  If it needs to get done, they do it!

Vices like smoking, excessive drinking and gambling–  Smoking harms your health and a common trait of rich people is that they take care of their health.  Drinking to excess damages not only your health but harms your family and business relationships, not to mention your productivity.  And gambling diverts critical funds away from your family and the pursuit of your goals.

Associating with negative people–  You already know who they are.  They’re always complaining.  They’re always criticizing your efforts to better yourself and your situation.  They are the do-nothings, the stone throwers, the naysayers.  All they do is suck the joy and energy out of your life.  You need to kick them to the curb.

Negative thinking–  Successful people have mastered their thinking.  They do not give negative thoughts safe harbor within their minds because they understand that if they do, it will grow like a cancer and kill their willpower and focus.  Doubts and negative thoughts will always creep into your mind from time to time.  But that doesn’t mean they have to stay there.  Exterminate them like you would a filthy cockroach in your home!

Ridicule and hate–  Only small people ridicule others who are trying to better themselves.  And hatred strips away your joy.  Don’t give anyone else that kind of power over you.  If you avoid ridicule and hate, happiness will be much more likely to set up shop in your mind and people will actually enjoy being around you.

Always being right–  There is a time and a place to stand your ground.  But if you stand your ground for every little thing, you will have precious little time left over to pursue your dreams.  So, learn to bend.  Let the other person have their way if it’s not a matter of principle.  Successful people have mastered the art of picking their battles.

Waiting for the perfect time–   There will never be a perfect time.  There will always be a financial, health, familial or work concern that can be used to justify delaying the start of pursuing your dreams.  Ecclesiastes tells us “The one who watches the wind will not sow seed, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap.”  In other words, the fearful are always waiting for that moment when they can control everything.  Newsflash!  Doers have figured out that that day will never come.  So, they just jump in and do it.

Regret–  There’s no use crying over spilled milk.  Mistakes will happen as sure as the sun rises each day.  Take your licks and learn your lessons.  But excessive dwelling on past mistakes will keep you stuck in the past and prevent you from moving forward.

Be like everyone else–  Movers and shakers are movers and shakers because they don’t follow the crowd.  They start that business when everyone else is fearful.  They go to the gym when their friends are sitting on the couch.  They invest in themselves while everyone else is wasting their money on the next i-something or other.  So, if you find yourself blending in with the rest of this broke, just-keeping their-heads-above-water world, it’s time for a change. Be different.  It is only by being different that you will gain a different life than everyone else.

This is only a sampling of all the possible things that can go on your To-Don’t list.  Just keep in mind that success or failure is all about habits.  Successful people cultivate good habits.  Unsuccessful people cultivate bad habits.  So, take a good, hard look at your daily activity.  If you find any counter-productive habits in there, put them on your To-Don’t list.  If you want success, you will have to eliminate as many bad habits as you can and replace them with as many good habits as you can find.

If you found this article helpful, please know that you can find more like it by following my blog at www.Org4LifeSolutions.com.  There you will find all kinds of hints, tips and tricks you can use to cultivate the good habits that will lead to better focus and success in life.  Until next time, remember:  Own it.  Be it.  Achieve it!

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