Making to-do lists is so very 2018.
To-don’t lists are much more fun. And productive. Declutter your responsibilities to clarify what’s important.
And the great thing is, once you have set your boundaries, you can refer to your list and deflect without agonising.
Sorry kind sir, my list says no to fundraising.
Apologies second child, I have advised myself against spending five hours on your birthday cake.
Try it! But remember this is my list, not my advice. Yours will be different.
My to-don’t list. What I say no to.
1. Surveys and feedback. Unless I have a connection with the company or they have incentivised it. Life’s too short.
2. Ironing clothes. Just why? Straight on the to-don’t list.
3. Pairing socks. I wash and collect them – isn’t that enough? If you want to find a pair, go for it.
4. Making kids’ lunches. It’s a great skill for them to develop.
5. Booking up the entire week with after-school activities. We all need time out from that.
6. Dusting anything I can’t see. And luckily I’m short, so tops of fridges and cupboards are out of the question.
7. Baking. That’s what bakeries are for.
8. Cooking dinner every night. Who said cheese and crackers are not a meal? Throw in a couple of cherry tomatoes for colour.
9. Playing with my kids at the park. I go to the park to outsource their fun. If I have to participate we may as well still be at home.
10. Volunteering at the school if it my kids don’t see direct benefit. No thanks. Not enough hours in the day.
11. Gardening. There is enough to do inside the house.
12. Fundraising. I don’t like asking people for money. I’d prefer to buy the raffle tickets myself.
13. Making elaborate birthday cakes for my children. Some icing and lollies to decorate is enough, let’s not spoil them.
14. Hosting fancy dinner parties. Happy to throw a BBQ though.
15. Being uncomfortable. From high heels to restrictive underwear there are lots of ways to torture ourselves. I say no to all of them.
16. Finishing a book. If I’m not enjoying it, game over. Apologies to the author but let’s face it, they will never know.
17. Online social events. Just awkward. See you after lockdown ends, everyone.
18. Keeping items just because they were a gift. After the giver has been thanked and some time passes, unloved items can find another home.
19. Repeating myself to the children. Once or twice is enough and then the Lego goes in the bin. Or in ‘jail’ to be retrieved after the child does a chore as payment. More about getting kids to put away their stuff here.
20. Printing everything out. I don’t even have a printer any more, they are just big clunky clutter-generators.
21. Cooking meals in bulk and freezing them. My kids inevitably get tired of certain meals anyway and then I’m stuck with them. But they never tire of toasties.
22. Keeping up with the Jones’. I don’t think the Jones even know what they are aiming for. It’s an endless consumerism treadmill.
(Christmas enthusiasts avert your eyes)
23. Feeling compelled to catch up before Christmas. Love a catch-up, not so keen on the deadline.
24. Christmas cards. Do we really still need these?
25. Putting up a Christmas tree. Not for me.
Oh, and another thing.
Oprah once said that no is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain, justify or apologise.
When someone says to-do, say instead to-don’t.