Too many To Do’s? Try these To Don’ts

If your To Do list seems overwhelming, maybe you need a To Don’t list.

Here are 11 items NOT to do in order to be more purposely productive and energized instead of ending the day overwhelmed and drained:

To Don’t List

  1. Don’t skip breakfast or eat junk for breakfast.
  2. Don’t start your day by checking the news. Digesting the news will not feed your soul. Like your body, your soul needs a nourishing meal to be at your best during the day.
  3. Don’t let your email inbox be the primary way you set priorities and manage your day.
  4. Don’t take someone’s criticism of your idea or their ‘negative’ feedback about your performance as an indicator of your value as a person.
  5. As you focus on producing results, don’t forget to connect with people.
  6. Don’t work through lunch. And don’t stay inside for lunch unless the weather is lousy.
  7. When someone asks, “how are you?” resist the urge to answer, “really busy.” Don’t confuse being busy with being productive or being important.
  8. Don’t let your calendar fill up with back-to-back meetings and calls without building in recharging activities or downtime.
  9. Don’t assume you can’t push back on a boss’s or customer’s unrealistic deadline.
  10. Don’t trade working late for working out. And don’t give up time with friends to work late – at least not as a regular habit.
  11. Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s rest.

Remembering these “To Don’ts” will help you manage your To Do list with more intention and energy and with less stress.


Joe Baker is a Partner with PeopleResults. As a leadership consultant and executive coach, he helps executives and their teams improve engagement, effectiveness, and impact. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JoeBakerJr.