Continuously Improving You

RSS Feed Email Feed

Create A Not to Do List – Idea from “Good To Great”

One of the audio books I just finished reading is “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. The main focus of the book is on looking at companies that were able to go from good to great , and what it was about those companies that helped them make the transition from being just a good company to being a great company.

Although the focus of the book is more on what businesses can do to become great, I asked myself the question, is there anything we can take from this book and apply it on an individual level for personal and professional continuous improvement. And guess what…

There was something from the book that we could take and apply on a personal level. In this case it was the idea of creating and following a “Not to do List”.

One of the habits a leader of one of these “great” companies practiced was to make a “Not to do List”. This was one of those “DUH” things for me. It really hit home as what a great idea that makes so much sense, yet I never thought of doing it.

One of the key topics that many personal and professional development gurus, Brian Tracy comes to mind right away, is the importance of time management. We only have so much time during the day and if we don’t learn to focus on engaging in activities that are going to lead to the achievement of our goals we are going to be wasting the finite amount of time that we have. Sir John Marks Templeton took this idea of using time properly to an extreme and he went so far as to proclaim that if we spend too much time watching television we will never become successful. I can’t remember the exact number, but I want to say it was really extreme like more than 100 hours a year or more than 20 hours a year.

I eventually took what I was reading over and over to heart and started looking at things in my life that I was doing that were time wasters and making it a point to stop doing those activities. Simple enough. I just kept in mind those things I would normally do that were not leading to achieving any of my goals and did my best to not do them. The thing is it didn’t seem that I was being all that successful.

When I read about the CEO of a company that Jim Collins discussed in “Good To Great” who would create these Not To Do Lists I thought it was a great idea for all of us to use on a personal level. Many people already regularly use to do lists. I’ve used them since I was a kid. I never even thought about doing the opposite by creating a not to do list.

I’m finding that using a Not to Do List is just as powerful, if not even more powerful, than using a To Do List. Now I can’t imagine not having a Not to Do List to help me stay focused in life on achieving my dreams and goals.

So my questions for you….

1. Have you ever used Not to Do Lists?

2. If so have they helped?

3. If you haven’t used Not to Do Lists do you think they will help?

Now Go Be Successful In All Areas of Your Life!!


Leave a Comment