We all make to-do lists. Those never-ending records of tasks we have to get done. But have you heard of “to-not” lists? This is a list of things not to do today! While less popular than their seemingly productive cousin, lists of things you don’t need to do in a day can be just as helpful, both for your productivity and for your mental well-being.
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, especially when there seems to be an infinite amount of tasks and responsibilities to tackle each day. But it’s important to remember that every day doesn’t have to be completely full of tasks in order to be productive.
Today, let’s take a few steps back and look at 10 things you should not do today. These can be just as valuable for our overall well-being.
So relax, take a deep breath, put down that “to-do list” and check out our 10 things you shouldn’t do today!
1. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on your own goals and achievements
You’ve heard the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” right? And yet, we’re so quick to compare ourselves to others, and this always leaves us demotivated and down! So stop comparing yourself to others today!
We all have different journeys to endure in life. Comparing ourselves to others often leads to feelings of inadequacy and can be detrimental to our self-esteem. Instead, we should focus on our own goals and celebrate our unique achievements. Everyone has a different starting point, different circumstances, and even our personalities and temperaments are different! And so comparisons are really unreliable!
Our goals and aspirations should be solely based on what we want to achieve, not on what others have accomplished. So today, let’s have a positive outlook on our own abilities and strive to improve ourselves without comparing or feeling inferior to others. Remember, your achievements and successes are just as valid and important as anyone else’s. Keep pushing towards your goals, and celebrate every step of your journey.
2. Don’t procrastinate – strive to stay on track each day
It’s easy to fall into the trap of putting things off until later – until that elusive “perfect” moment magically appears. The truth is, that moment may never come. And then it’s a panicked rush to finish your tasks.
And when it comes to personal hobbies and passions — the things that help bring us joy and fulfillment — procrastination is dangerous. Because if there’s no deadline, there’s a big chance you’ll never “find the time” for those projects or hobbies.
So today, don’t procrastinate! Don’t wait for tomorrow to do the things that matter – make time for yourself today. Whether it’s pursuing your passions or taking care of your responsibilities, carving out a little bit of time each day can make a huge difference in your overall happiness and productivity.
3. Don’t let stress take over – find simple ways to de-stress
Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and stress can seem all-consuming. We get it! There is a lot to stress about! But stress is no good for our mental health, or for our bodies! So don’t let stress take over!
The best news is that there are simple habits and practices you can onboard today — like right now! — that can help you begin the de-stress process. Why not try some relaxation techniques or deep breathing exercises? These simple yet effective techniques can help calm your mind and body, making it easier for you to face the challenges ahead. Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths, doing some yoga, or meditating, just a few minutes of relaxation can go a long way towards reducing stress and improving your overall well-being.
4. Don’t linger on negative thoughts – think positively and look for solutions instead of dwelling on what could go wrong
When life throws us curveballs, it can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts. But here’s the thing – dwelling on what could go wrong doesn’t actually solve anything. Instead, we encourage you to think positively and focus on finding solutions. Yes, I know it sounds overly simple! But practicing thinking postivitely has been proven to help with stress management and can even improve your health.
So the next time you feel negative thoughts creeping in, take a deep breath, remind yourself of your strengths, and start brainstorming ways to move forward. Shift your mindset from “what if” to “how can I” and you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make. Negativity has no place in the journey towards success and happiness, so let’s leave it behind today and focus on what we can achieve.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it
No one is an island. We all need help from time to time. But for some reason, we’re often afraid to ask for it.
No matter how hard we try, it’s impossible for us to know and do everything on our own. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you recognize your limitations and are willing to take the necessary steps to move forward.
So don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help today! It could be with a work task, help you need around the house, or it could have to do with how you’re feeling or your mental health. Please ask for help! You have people in your corner who want to be there for you as much as you are for them!
It might not always feel like it, but asking for help is a sign of strength! Don’t forget that today!
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself – celebrate your successes
It’s important to strive for excellence, but sometimes we can get a little carried away and end up putting too much pressure on ourselves. We set ourselves high goals, and when we miss the mark (even if it’s just against our own standards!) we can be incredibly hard on ourselves, and fall into those negative self-talk patterns again.
So number 6 on our “To-Not” list is to NOT be too hard on yourself today. Rather, let’s be kind to ourselves. Celebrate your successes and remember that even small accomplishments are worth acknowledging. And if you need a break, take it! Life is all about the ebb and flow, so don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned.
7. Don’t doubt yourself
Doubt can be paralyzing. It can stop us from taking risks, trying new things, or going for our dreams. But here’s the thing: doubt is just an emotion, not a fact. It doesn’t mean that something won’t work out. The best way to really know is just to try!
But what about self-doubt? Self-doubt can keep us from backing ourselves, and having confidence in our strengths, giftings, and abilities. Self-doubt can be debilating! So don’t let it get in your way today. Instead, focus on all the reasons why you CAN make it, why you ARE more than good enough, and what YOU are able to do. And leave self-doubt in the dust.
8. Avoid complaining – be mindful of how your words affect those around you
Have you ever noticed how complaining can bring down the mood of those around you? Besides bringing your mood down in the process? It’s easy to fall into the trap of constant complaining, but it’s important to be mindful of how our words affect those around us.
It’s one thing to express how we’re feeling. This is also important. But it’s when it moves from simply expressing our frustrations to constant complaining.
By avoiding complaining and choosing to focus on the positive, we can create a more uplifting atmosphere for ourselves and others. It can be challenging to break the habit of complaining, but it’s a worthwhile effort. Instead of dwelling on the negative, try to find the silver lining in a situation or express gratitude for what you do have. Your positive outlook can be contagious and have a ripple effect on those around you.
9. Don’t forget to take breaks throughout the day – give yourself permission to step away
It’s easy to get bogged down with tasks, especially when you have a long to-do list to tackle. And when this happens, the last thing on our minds is a break. However, it’s important to remind yourself that taking a break is not only okay but necessary. Giving yourself permission to step away from work or other tasks that require focus can actually enhance your productivity and creativity.
Whether it’s a quick walk around the block, a chat with a colleague, or simply closing your eyes for a few minutes, carving out time for yourself throughout the day can make a world of difference. So don’t forget to take a break today! Take a breather, and return to your work feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
10. Skip scrolling mindlessly through social media – use that time to do something productive instead
And finally, Number 10 on our “To-Not” list, skip the mindless scrolling! This is a big one! How often do we find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through our various social media feeds, not realizing the amount of time that’s passing? (Just take a look at your screen time tracker in your smartphone settings. Prepare to be shocked!)
So today, stop the scrolling!
Rather than spend that time doing something productive instead. You could spend some time reading a book or article, learning a new skill online, having some quality time with yourself, or even using that time for a break!
Yes, to-do lists are important. They help us stay productive and on-top of our tasks and goals. But “To-Not” lists are important, too!
By focusing on these 10 things to not do today, we can create an environment of productivity, positivity and growth. We can create time and space for ourselves, which ultimately help us stay at the top of our game — which, at the end of the day, will help us get through that to-do list that much easier! That’s a win-win in our book!
Looking for more self-care strategies? We’ve got a whole bunch here!