I shamelessly stole this idea from leaders in the business world (visit Michael Hyatt for more great inspiration) because it is an idea that will change your life.
Here it is…are you ready? Write (and execute) a “not-to do” list! There you go…isn’t that profound?

Here’s the thinking; people who get a lot done are people who know what they do best. That’s the big secret to their lives. They don’t just write “to do” lists but they have their own “not-to-do” lists. They truly don’t do it all.

We women can apply this wise principle to our lives. We can focus on those areas we excel at and we can carefully choose not to do many things that waste our time. Of course there are many things that we may not be very good at but still need to do anyway (for example, cooking; children need to be fed on a regular basis so, although cooking may not be my passion, I do it anyway…all the time!).

So, in the spirit of transparency and self-revelation I am bravely sharing with you some of the many items on my “not to do list”. Keep in mind that you and I are very different and what I consider to be a time waster may be something you are invigorated and inspired by.I am sharing my list with you just to get you thinking about creating your own “not to do” list.

1)I do not talk on the phone regularly or for a long time. I don’t multi-task on the phone well and I get stressed when I can’t focus exclusively on my phone call. I am old enough that I miss the old phones with the cords connected to the wall where I had to sit down by the phone while I was talking! I return most phone messages via email.

2)I rarely shop “for fun”. Shopping takes a lot of time and I don’t enjoy it. Enough said!

3)I don’t spend a lot of time decorating or thinking about it. My “style” is clean, bright and homey. A quote by Peter Marshall is my inspiration:

“There is beauty in homely things that many people have never seen:
sunlight through a jar of beach plum jelly;
a rainbow in soapsuds in dishwater;
an egg yolk in a blue bowl;
white ruffled curtains sifting moonlight;
the color of cranberry glass;
a little cottage with blue shutters;
crimson roses in an old stone crock;
the smell of newly baked bread;
candlelight on old brass;
the soft brown of a cocker’s eyes.”

4)I don’t attend a lot of baby showers and girl-type events. I get impatient with chit-chat and prefer to sit in the corner and talk with one person. This “not-to-do” will change when I get to go to my grandbaby’s showers!

5)I don’t spend a lot of time putting my younger kids to bed. We read aloud, I kiss them goodnight,pray over them and off they go!

6)I rarely cook breakfast or anything that takes a lot of clean-up in the morning. I may, occasionally, make muffins ahead of time but I keep breakfast short and simple so we can get on with our day.

7)I choose not to participate in a lot of playgroups or homeschooling co-op activities. Driving children to those things takes time(and then I spend too much money on things like coffee while I am waiting for them).

8)I don’t spend a lot of time with girlfriends, probably because by the time I get finished listening to (and talking with) my eight children and my husband I am out of words(and time!).

9)I don’t leave the house day after day. As boring as it sounds, I get way more done if I stay home.
(I am not a total recluse, I do practice hospitality and invite people in ;-)).

10)I don’t spend a lot of time (or money)on beauty services. I don’t like strangers touching me so a massage doesn’t relax me (and I’ve never had a professional manicure)and, because I have a sensitive scalp and a lot of hair, getting my hair done is like paying for personal torture :-). I tell my husband that he is a fortunate man.

There you have it…more than you ever wanted to know, I am sure!

Knowing what you are willing to say “no” to is just as important as remembering all that you need to “do” each day.Why not sit down and make your “not-to-do” list for the New Year?