Getting Things Done

Easily Say No to Temptations and Distractions

Create A Do-Not-Do List


Steve Jobs: Smart guy

  • He once said: ‘Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.’

His point? Get clear or get consumed

  • A lack of clarity about what you don’t want to do makes it easier to allow temptations and distractions into your life

Our brains tend to take the path of least resistance

Easily Say No to Temptations and Distractions

  • It’s easier to allow than it is to analyze

The problem: Allowing drains you

  • Once you’ve accepted a distraction or time-sucker into your life, you need to use your time, energy, and resources to process or deal with it

The solution: Creating a ‘Do-NOT-Do’ list

  • Simply create a list of specific tasks or distractions that you refuse to allow to disrupt what you’re currently doing

Why it works

Easily Say No to Temptations and Distractions

  • A Do-NOT-Do list removes the need for your brain to analyze temptations and distractions as they come in, making it easier to just say no!


Easily Say No to Temptations and Distractions

  • Create a Do-NOT-Do List:
    • Grab a pen and a piece of paper
    • At the top of the paper write, I avoid doing these things
    • Write down 5-10 activities you refuse to allow to tempt or distract you:
      • Turning on and responding to app notifications
      • Browsing the Web between 8 am – 4 pm
      • Answering calls from unknown numbers
      • Writing emails more than 3 sentences long
  • Review your list regularly – put it by your desk
  • Update it occasionally when new temptations or distractions begin to disrupt your work
  • Learn more – fastest way to GTD

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