September 5, 2012, 5:46 am

The Not to Do List

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Productivity
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Right before I went on vacation, I had a strong feeling that I needed time off. My inspiration level for blogging was very low and I didn’t feel like waking up in the morning to go to work. This was a weird for me as I am usually pretty pumped to go to work each morning and I never have any problem writing (mind you, I’ve been writing everyday for 6 years now!). I found the answer why I my energy level was so low while I was on vacation: clutter. I basically needed to defragment my brain and some parts of my life.


For the non-geeky readers, defragmenting is the action of rearranging all the clutter into an efficient use of space in your computer. When you make too many changes (installing software, creating documents, etc), it is sometimes placed randomly in the hard drive. Defragmenting allows the computer to reorganize its memory to become faster. This is what I needed to do as I’ve “installed” new software such as “Newborn BabyIII” (the first two were so great so I installed another one) but it also came with some viruses like “Not Doing Your Nights” and “Too Tired to Workout”. “New Job” was also a heavy weight for my computer and it was slowing down my flash memory.


So instead of coming up with a “To do” list in order to become more productive, I thought of creating a “Not To Do” List. The traditional To do’s are quickly piling up and I lost track of everything. However, the Not To Do list is very motivating as it encourages you to free-up some time instead of finding a 15 minutes spot to accomplish an additional task.


My Not To Do List


Checking my email when I turn on my computer in the morning. This time is reserved for writing articles. Most of the time, I answer a few email, start on something new and one hour later, I’m still stuck with less than 200 words written.


Snoozing. I’m under a very strict schedule if I want to both write articles and workout in the morning. Thinking about another 30 minutes of sleep is not a good idea. You don’t get much real rest and you are preventing yourself from doing what you should be doing. Bad move.


Look at Adsense income. For the past three months or so, it has been very pleasant to look at my Adsense income throughout the day. Since I make over $100/day, it’s always fun to see if I’m ahead or behind during the day. The problem is that it doesn’t bring me anything; regardless of the result, I will end-up with an amount over which I have no control on a day-to-day basis. I should look at Adsense once a day to make sure my sites are running well. Not more!


Multi-Tasking. I used to be a huge fan of multi-tasking. Depending on which type of work you do, I still think that multi-tasking can be productive. For example, there are no arms required to listen to a conference call and therefore work at the same time. However, doing too much multi-tasking is destructive. I started to answer my email while I was writing articles… it was a very bad move as the mind is not completely focused.


Read Online Newspapers. I started the very bad habit of reading online newspapers. First, there are only two types of news that should be read:

–          Hockey news (man… I might have some free time this winter!)

–          Financial news (this is part of my job after all)

All the rest is only a way to distract my mind from what really matters during my day (making money!). Reading news doesn’t bring me much and I should completely stop it. At least, I’ll try to just read the headlines at first in order to save at least 30 minutes in my day.



Setting up a not to do list is not that easy as it requires stopping habits. However, if I can follow my not to do list, I’m sure I’ll be able to accomplish my to do list! Take 5 minutes this morning and write a quick Not To Do list, what’s on it?

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My not to do list should probably include TV and Google analytics. I enjoy the few TV shows I watch though so I wont add that quiet yet.

I think reading the news helps a person become a more literate, informed human being if not a better citizen. Reading news online is typically a lot cheaper than a newspaper, it’s remarkable insofar as you can get the perspectives of a bunch of different sources, rather than just one, and it’s a lot more edifying than watching a newscast. If you do it compulsively then certainly cut back or don’t do it on vacation, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing.

I got pretty good at not looking at analytics. I only take a look at it once a day in the morning 🙂

google analytics, going to be a while before i need to look at that each day:)

Other than that the main change I made was to do my writing first and commenting and blog marketing second, otherwise you waste all day doing nothing.

I agree with you on giving yourself special time for writing. Neither do i read my phone and emails while i want to write something. (please,. i am not a very good writer like you are) But what i mean is that its bad to let other things distract you and derail your train of thoughts while your on it.