Write an “Ignore List”

pen and notebookFold the laundry, schedule a dentist appointment, pay the cable bill… what’s on your to-do list today? While many of us have a mile long list of things we need to get done, have you ever considered writing a list of all the things that don’t need to get done?

It might sound strange, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the things on your to-do list, it might be beneficial to write an “ignore list.” The fact is we live in a distraction-prone world. Do you ever find that just when you finally get motivated to tackle a daunting task, another unimportant task sucks your time?

Here is a scenario that may sound familiar… you open up your e-mail inbox with the intention of writing a quick response to an urgent message, but then 30 minutes later you find yourself reading a dozen other unimportant ones! While our clever tech devices – like phones and computers – are supposed to make life easier, they tend to be our biggest distractions. Just yesterday I turned on my laptop to get a quick weather report to plan our long drive home from California… 15 minutes later I was lost in the depths of MSN.com watching a video about migrating sharks. Not sure how that happened, but it did!

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself: What’s not worth doing? Write down a handful of things that you’re willing to disregard and forget about… things that are not a priority, but tend to get done before other important tasks. Throughout the day, review this list to make sure that nothing on it is getting accomplished or distracting you. Reassure yourself that when your to-do list is done, you can dive into the less important things on your ignore list. Until then, focus on the important things in life and don’t let any other distracting tasks get your undeserved attention!

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