making my “stop-doing” list

"stop-doing" list

Sleep. Read. Sweat. Shower. Work. Meet. Write. Shop. Clean. Fix. Organize. Here. There. Everywhere.

I am a recovering list-a-holic. Seriously, if I could itemize the minute details of my life purely for the satisfaction of crossing tasks off my list, I would. I do.

The to-do list is hardly fresh. Children return to school and receive agendas on their first day at class. As for me, I have been sharpening my planning skills as if training for the Organizational Olympics since the ripe age of seven, and I am as detail-oriented as they come. Come to my apartment, and witness the to-do list that is permanently fixed to my front door. (Neurotic? Guilty.) Recently my paradigms of list-making were shaken up a bit – enter the “stop doing” list.

I just finished working my way through Jim Collin’s book Good to Great, a must-read in my opinion. His research resonated with me - my eager eyes feasted on all the pretty little lists, brimming with empirical data, waiting neatly for me to absorb, page after page. I learned that “good-to-great leaders distinguish themselves by their unyielding discipline to stop doing anything and everything that doesn't fit tightly within their Hedgehog Concept. “ (Hedgehog concept? It has nothing to do with chocolates. You need to read this book and learn more.) The more I chew on this idea, the more I like it – and guess what? Out comes my red journal and POP! a new list descends the page.

1. I stop chatting online; instead I welcome friends into my home for real quality time.
2. I stop doing busy things that thwart my creativity.
3. I stop wasting time lamenting the things I do not have and think I need. I am grateful. Period.
4. I stop making the computer screen the first and last thing I see in a day.
5. I stop criticizing myself & the people in my world. I replace criticism with encouragement and praise or nothing at all.
6. I stop spending time worrying about the future. Every day has enough troubles of its own.

Streamline your life. Take inventory of all the “DO’s” in your life and see if they align with who you are and where you want to go. Make a list of “DON’Ts” and bathe in the clarity that follows. Repeat as necessary.

What’s on your list today?

read more related posts:


I LOVE this. I’m definitely going to be making a stop doing list as well. Thank you for the inspiration!

Comment by elliebelle — November 6, 2009 @ 9:43 am

This is the best post written on the Lululemon blog so far…
Just wanted to say that!
I’ve read the book and it is amazing,

Comment by Joanna — November 6, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

Joanna, thank you so much for your kind words. You have just made my day. :) Ellie, good luck with the list! Happy to lend a hand!

Comment by Elissa Joy — November 6, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

Just stole your stop doing list, added some of my own, put it as a stickie note on my macbook. Added that I need to stop wasting half my life watching television. Thank you so much for this! It was exactly what I needed this week. What would I do with out my lulu blogs?? :) Now if only they would open a store in Indianapolis (where I live)… haha. Thanks again!

Comment by Ellen — November 7, 2009 @ 6:06 am

I agree with Joanna, this is the best blog written. Now comes the hard work of creating my own stop doing list.

Comment by kim — November 7, 2009 @ 11:25 am

7. Stop checking in with the blog while on holidays. :) Thank you for the encouragement. You all remind me why I love to write.

Comment by Elissa Joy — November 7, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

“…if I could itemize the minute details of my life purely for the satisfaction of crossing tasks off my list, I would. I do.”
You just described me perfectly! I love it when I find blog posts that I relate to so well that I get face cramps from grinning so widely the entire time I’m reading! Thank you for this!

Comment by Camille — November 8, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

I’m not quite as much of a list person as you are but I think I could very well benefit from this “Stop Doing list.” Very inspiring post!!

Comment by Brian — November 9, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

Thank you so much for the article. I too am a list-a-holic and in the process of re-doing my bucket list and now not to do list. So excited to do this and move forward. thanks again

Comment by Samantha — April 4, 2011 @ 11:01 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment