The Revolutionary Concept of a Stop-Doing List

Confession: I’m a to-do list addict.

At any one given time, I probably have four to-do lists going. There’s the daily work one, the longer-term work one, a home one, and now, of course, a baby to-do list. I’ll admit — making to-do lists gives me peace of mind because I have to remember less. It’s written down! And the feeling of crossing things off of my to-do list is amazing. I love it. LOVE IT.

But, what happens when you get overly ambitious and start drowning in your to-dos? Or you feel like a failure on any given day — weekend or not — because your to-do list isn’t checked off in the least? Or that one nagging thing that’s been on your to-do list for, like, a year, and still isn’t done? Well, that’s kind of the opposite of feeling good, in control, organized and/or productive.

And I’ve oscillated between those two feelings — 1) Pats on the back for me, my to-do is done! OR 2) Woe is me. Why do I feel like I get nothing done?! — for years. (It really, really is like this.) So when I stumbled upon Danielle LaPorte’s Stop-Doing List idea, I was like, yes. YES! I need a Stop-Doing list. Pronto!

With a baby on the way in February, I’ve never been more acutely aware of just how much my current life is going to need to change, flow and be more flexible. Marathon work days and workouts probably aren’t in the rotation for a bit. And I’ll need to lower both my expectations of myself and of my to-do lists — because I’ll have a whole new set of priorities and needs, many of which I can’t even fully plan for.

But what I can start doing is to, well, stop doing some things. Here’s my Stop-Doing List!

My Stop-Doing List


I’ll go ahead and add a number 8, too: any item on my to-do list that’s been on there for more than a month needs to dealt with in a whole other way, whether that means hiring someone to do it, chunking it into smaller, more doable pieces or simply deleting it entirely. Man, I feel better already!

Any other to-do list addicts out there? What would you put on your stop-doing list? Talk about feeling liberated! —Jenn

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  1. Erin Weber says:

    I feel like you wrote this post for me hahahaa. I am a to-do list junkie and feel like a failure when I don’t complete it! 🙁

  2. I’ve recently given up to do lists myself. I’m a recovering do lister. I’ve found they create attachments and as a result unnecessary stress which leads to poor health. Not good! Since I’ve given up my list I get more done and have way less stress!

  3. Monica says:

    This is such a good idea. I need to get on this!

  4. Melissa says:

    I love to do lists! I live and breathe by them! I am an elementary school teacher and so my whole day is just a laundry list of things. I just got married and for months it felt like my wedding list would never end. This idea of a Not To Do List is amazing and I am definitely going to try it. First thing on my list is definitely “getting annoyed when my husband wants to sho me me affection.” LOL he seems to only pick the worst times! Though, I know I should slow down! Will reflect more, post a blog,and link back. xo, Melissa

    1. Jenn says:

      Awesome, Melissa. 🙂

      —FBG Jenn