Remember when you wanted to be more productive after weeks of lazing about doing nothing much? Well, you might have gone about it the wrong way.
Instead of focusing on what you should do and ticking off items on that basis, perhaps you should have flipped it and identified things you shouldn’t be doing.
Well, it seems to be working for Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO, who shared his approach with his followers.
When he’s not fielding questions about an edit button or ignoring requests to ban, or at least unverify, all those white supremacists, Dorsey seems to be much like that one ‘entrepreneur’ you’ve never been able to delete from your LinkedIn.
He includes meditation and working out on his daily to-do list, but the ‘to-don’t list’? He’s happy to share that too.
“A practice I’ve been using off and on for years: every morning I write a checklist of work I intend to do today, and work I won’t do today,” he explained.
“Focused on more strategic efforts rather than calendar stuff. I check off the “won’t do” before sleep (and eventually move them up to “do”).
“The “won’t do” list is often more important than the “do” list. Setting the intention to deliberately not work on something gives me clearer space to think and work, and be less reactive. Some items stay on the lists for days/weeks/months, some I want to make sure I do every day.”
All of this makes you wonder what Dorsey actually does with his time – aside from the things on his first list, of course.
But what if he fails to do something on his ‘to do’ list? Can he just move it to the ‘don’t do’ one and cross it off as not done? The perfect crime.
We’re just waiting for it to go full circle to the point that ‘make a don’t do list’ features as an item on the don’t do list and Dorsey’s head explodes from the contradiction.