Yay! It’s free-play day!

That’s how I’ve come to think of my Wednesday posts. On Mondays I write about my Love Project. On Fridays I make the Friday List. and Wednesdays? They’re for tetherball! Or, you know, the bloggy equivalent. I get to play whatever I want, and today it’s the NOT-To-Do list.

I got the idea from a post (or two) by Danielle. She says that in striving to do what we really want (love, are passionate about), the things we decide NOT to do are sometimes just as important as the things we decide to start or continue doing.

It sounds intuitive. There are (no matter how I try to recalculate it) only so many hours in a day, so in my already crammed-full life, if I take on something new, something old needs to come off the list. The thing is, something old almost never does come off the list… instead I try to do it all, becoming in the process more busy, more scattered, more sleep-deprived.

So her idea, to make a list of what I would stop doing in order to make room for all the cool stuff I wanted to do, appealed to me. I sat down to make the list feeling very enthusiastic and then… I couldn’t think of anything specific to write. She warns about writing things like “I’m going to stop avoiding my dreams” or “I’m going to stop putting myself last.” Those aren’t specific enough to create space.

I did finally come up with a list of five things. And, for the past week, I’ve NOT been doing them. Here’s the best part: while I wasn’t doing them, I was finishing a project I’d been struggling to find time for, writing a review I’d kept not getting to, and spending a Sunday afternoon wandering around the big outside with my camera, guilt free.

Here’s my NOT-To-Do List.

  1. I’m not going to leave Twitter and Facebook up when I’m writing.
  2. I’m not going to reply to email (and Zebra Sounds comments) compulsively all day. Twice a day is enough.
  3. I’m not going to pay the bills. (Don’t worry someone is. I traded jobs. I HATE paying bills. When I’m ungodly rich, I plan to hire someone who does all my mathy things for me.)
  4. I’m not going to spend extra time on people who drain me.
  5. Every new subscription to a blog, newsletter or website requires an old subscription be cancelled. (I need to cull the list. I delete so many messages unread.)

Trust me when I say that it feels really good to let go of this stuff. By consciously deciding not to do these things, I’m deciding instead to focus on what truly matters to me. So… what are you willing to give up in order to do what you love?

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