Your Not-To-Do List

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Jeff Davidson

Most HR professionals maintain some kind of to-do list, formal or informal. A not to-do list perhaps is equally important. A not to-do list delineates tasks and activities that you choose not to undertake.

Don’t Do Them!

What types of tasks and activities should be represented on a not to-do list? Tasks that are best delegated because you have the resources or staff to handle. It is vital for you to preserve your time and attention for the handful of critical tasks that you and you alone must complete.

Other tasks and activities that could well land on your not to-do list are those that you have undertaken, but bore no fruit. In other words, after successfully executing the tasks, your desired result was nowhere to be found.

Tasks that could be automated might also make your not to-do list. You can devise a system so that the tasks are consistently executed. As an example, you establish a website alert on airfare for your chosen itinerary, as opposed to checking back each day for a better price.

Routine maintenance services, provided by qualified vendors, represent another form of "automation." When you schedule for these maintenance services to handle recurring tasks, you have, in essence, automated your tasks. Thus, you are free to devote your attention to other tasks and activities.

Important and Under-rated

Establishing a not to-do list could prove to be more important than you initially presume. Reviewing those tasks and activities which you have been able to delegate or automate serve as a continual reminder that can help you stay more focused, energized, and directed towards those tasks that you personally need to handle.

If you haven’t devised your own not to do list, give it a whirl. It’s enlightening. Fortunately, much of what makes your not to-do list can remain in place permanently. Unlike a to-do list, most of the items included on your not to-do list can stay right where they are.