So, what is a not-to-do list anyways? How does it work? How can a writer create one? How can a writer keep one up? Why is it important to have a not to do list?
These are all questions that writers have when I spoke about not-to-do-lists in my workshops. In this post, I will reflect on some of these questions and provide an answer that all writers can easily follow.
The best way to create a not to do list, is to set aside a month for reflection in your writing journal. At the end of every week, stop and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Was I productive this week? If not, what do I see some of the problems to be?
- Lack of time;
- Lack of focus;
- Lack of concentration because of fatigue;
- Family pressures;
2. Write about each of your problems in your success journal, starting with the most difficult problem. Do this every week on Friday or Saturday. Spend at least half an hour to an hour really reflecting on your difficulties with writing.
3. Towards the end of the month, try to decide what your worse problems are and transfer these onto a sheet of paper so that you could put it on your not-to-do-list.
4. Tack up your not-to-do-list right above your workstation so that you could see it every day before you start working. Try not to do these things again.
5. At the end of every week, journal about your progress and how you are avoiding doing some of the things that really stifle and hinder your success as a writer. If you didn’t succeed, be patient with yourself. Next week, try a bit harder to get rid of these bad habits that you habitually do. After a while, you will be successful.
By taking these steps, you will create a not-to-do-list which can really work for you in becoming the most successful writer possible.
Irene S. Roth