Where is your not-to-do list anyway? You do have one.

My business journey started out with out of control to-do lists. When I ran a small growing vibrant company, my to-do list was constantly at or around 50 actions required by me at any given point in time. Ouch!

During my professional development, which I continue in earnest today, I’ve developed a not-to-do list process. My not-to-do list is getting more sophisticated.

The not-to-list process uses the best ideas from business best practices, lean concepts, and leadership practices. I use a very practical method daily for my business. I then share what I learn and develop with my clients.

Five principles for a not-to-do list

  1. Not-to-do list grows longer than the to-do list.
  2. There can many variations of not-to-do lists.
  3. A Kanban style organization of lists gives them a workable structure.
  4. The to-do list is always very short in length and short term in time horizon…at most a week if not a day.
  5.  New items always go into the not-to-list then get moved into other lists. Eventually activities move to the to-do list and into calendar time slots for execution.

To-do lists always live at the end of the planning process and not before. The opposite of all the bad habits we’ve developed.

A very useful process to implement a not-to-do list

Create various projects based on your business planning process. Having spent the effort and time on this activity simplifies the prioritizing and decisions for projects and activities.

Within a project are SMART goals, obstacles, solutions, activities and to-do lists. I’ve listed an excellent starting point for Not-to-do list structure. Yes, and the to-do list!

A good starting point list structure:

  • Ideas:  These are proposed activities. Pile them here.
  • Planning:  Here the best ideas develop in a full blown goal and plan.
  • Active:  The activity now moves into action. Planning activities results in checklists with deadlines and assignments.
  • To-do-list:  The activity is defined, assigned, scheduled and will be done.
  • Completed: The activity is completed, executed well and on-time. Well done!

Using a simple, structured not-to-list structure gives you control over all requests, great ideas, “you should do it,” and those activities you actually do.

Plus you can take advantage of that part of your calendar that rarely gets used!

Those time slots out more than 30, 60, 90, 180 days. They work perfectly well. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Successful use of not-to-do list requires leadership skills if for nothing else than to tease apart all the competing activities.

Next steps

Give me a call or email me to discuss how you can start your not-to-do list.  Even if you have lots of organizational parts of business, want to tackle the six dimensions of your personal life, and all multitude of projects in your operations.

Take 30 minutes and let’s discuss the issues you face. It’s free.

Phil Bride.  Phil@PhilBride.com   503-753-9971