With what seems to be endless to-do lists out there, I want to challenge you today to create a stop doing list.
What is a stop doing list, you might ask. A stop doing list is exactly what it sounds like – a list of things that you are giving yourself permission to stop doing.
Those useless time wasters and unnecessary things that you do just to fill your day up. The things that aren’t contributing to your life for the better. It’s time to give them up.
CREATE A STOP DOING LIST
This is something that I struggled with a lot in my first few months as a stay at home wife. I thought since I was staying home with no kids that I needed to have my days jam-packed full of stuff or else I was just going to become the stereotypical stay at home wife who sits around eating chocolates and watching soap operas all day.
To make sure that I didn’t become that person, I would fill my days up with useless things – things that weren’t making my life any simpler but instead were just making me busy.
Why do we all feel like we need to be busy? Why is it that we feel guilty when we have downtime?
For me, the feeling of guilt stemmed from being a stay at home wife. I had no kids and no job, and I knew I was being judged by some people.
Even though being a stay at home wife is what made sense for me to do at the time, I still struggled with feeling like people just thought I was lazy – so to be sure that I wasn’t, I filled every spare moment of my day up with stuff.
What makes you fill your days up with useless stuff? Is it out of habit, do you do it so people won’t think you’re lazy, or do you just like to be busy?
There are thousands of reasons why people do this. Here we’re going to look at 10 things that are making you busy, not productive, and you can stop doing today.
“DON’T BE BUSY, BE PRODUCTIVE.”
Today, instead of starting a to-do list, I want to encourage you to create a stop doing list. Start a list of things that you can stop doing today so that you can save your time and energy for the things that are important and actually need to get done.
10 THINGS TO PUT ON YOUR STOP DOING LIST
1. CONSTANTLY CLEANING YOUR HOUSE
If you’re filling your days up with cleaning the exact same spot of the house that got cleaned yesterday, are you just cleaning because you feel like you need to be doing something?
If you do your weekly house cleaning, yet you find yourself pulling out the vacuum the very next day because you saw a speck of dirt on the carpet, put it away.
Stop worrying about a perfect house. It doesn’t exist – and for good reason! If the perfect, clean and spotless house did exist I think it’s safe to say that it sure would look good – but it’s not a place to raise a happy, loving family.
Put away the vacuum and go play in the dirt with your kids. Encourage them to play outside in the dirt, and if the house gets a little dirty it’s not the end of the world, it’s a sign of a mother who is too busy playing with her kids to be constantly worrying about the state of her house, and it’s something you shouldn’t be ashamed of.
2. WORRYING ABOUT FIXING THINGS THAT YOU CAN’T FIX
You know those things that keep you up tossing and turning all night because your mind is cruising at 200 miles an hour worrying about it…But you have no ability to fix it?
The things that only God himself has the ability to change? Those are the things you need to accept and let go of.
Don’t let worry keep you up all night – learn to accept what you can’t change and leave it in God’s hands, trusting that He will work it out for your good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
3. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you find yourself getting lost in the abyss of Facebook? Scrolling and scrolling along before realizing that over an hour has passed by and you haven’t got anything productive done other than learning that your old friend from grade 2…or was it grade 3?…has a new dog.
Learn how to tell yourself when enough is enough. Challenge yourself to only go on social media for a certain amount of time each day and set a timer if you have a tendency to lose track of time.
4. FEELING GUILTY FOR HAVING “YOU TIME”
If the reason that you tend to fill your days up with stuff to keep you busy, even if it’s not productive, is because you feel guilty when you do have a chance to sit down quietly and have some “you time” – then stop feeling guilty about it!
You need you time. You need to nurture yourself. In the midst of you running around and caring for your family, don’t forget to take some time each day to care for yourself or you will give away into exhaustion.
Do it for yourself and for your family. Even if it is just 5 minutes each day, set some time apart every day when the kids know that this is quiet time, and they can’t bug you. Pick up your favorite book, go for a walk, have a bath, or do whatever best describes your “you time”.
But never, ever feel guilty for having some time to yourself.
5. CATERING TO OTHERS AND FORGETTING ABOUT YOURSELF
There is nothing at all wrong with helping people out, and I strongly believe it is something you should do. But if you are doing it to a point where you are so busy helping them that your own duties and responsibilities are getting pushed to the side, it might be too much.
Do make an effort to help others out, but don’t forget to take care of the things that you need to get done, too.
6. BITING OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW
Do you know your limit? Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t. They will push themselves to exhaustion – far past their limit – but not know why.
Know your limit, and don’t be afraid to turn down anything that is more than you can handle at the time.
If yours and your families lives are going to suffer in any way by you taking on whatever it may be, always put your family first.
Don’t take on a job that is going to use up all your evenings and weekends if you feel like you barely get to see your family already.
7. TAKING YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED
Life is so, so fragile. It’s so easy to take life for granted without even realizing it.
We need to realize how blessed we are by the life that we have and the family and friends that encourage us along.
Try finding at least one thing every day that you are thankful for and write it down and keep it in a special place for you to look back on.
8. BEING IMPATIENT
Patience is something I struggle greatly with, and being impatient is something I need to stop doing. Pronto.
Life is too short to be impatient.
9. COMPARING YOUR LIFE TO OTHERS
Comparing your life to someone else’s life will never do you any good. Every person has their own individual life, and no two people’s lives will be the same. Someone is always going to seem to be further along than you are.
We are all on different walks of life and learning to accept that will help you become one step closer to really living the life that has been created for you, and living it with intention.
Procrastination. That one thing that many people have become a master at doing.
I find in my days it can become easy to put things off because I think that I will have plenty of time to complete it tomorrow.
It’s time to stop pushing things off until tomorrow, and start getting things done today.
Creating a stop doing list doesn’t have to be hard, and it can benefit your life in more ways than one. Do you already have a stop doing list? What will you put on your stop doing list to take the business out of your days and replace it with productivity instead?
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12