My Don’t Do List

I’m reading a most fascinating book by a blogger that I love reading his blog… Chris Gillibeau and the Art of Non Comformity. It’s very fascinating, and gives me hope and fuel to living my own life, how I wish to live it.

One of the chapters mentions how we so often do things that we hate, find annoying, do out of guilt, do out of comformity, do because we don’t know to not do it, and so on. And these things ROB us of very important time to do what we WANT to do or even NEED to do.

Some of his examples are meetings at work that really don’t accomplish anything, dealing with junkmail and email spam, watching too much tv without a schedule or desire to watch a specific show and so on. Sometimes it can just be some sort of procedure or task that you do which is really just busy work and non productive.

It’s got me thinking and he suggests starting with three to five things on your Don’t Do List and start to eliminate them!


Well, one thing for sure, I need to stop doing errands all week long. I find myself having to go out nearly every day for something. And it’s driving me nuts. And wastes time. And give me more opportunity to be bad and get fastfood and pop and just basically disrupts my work focus and day.

I also need to stop doing graphic work for free. Or at the very least letting it get priority in my life over work, my own pursuits and that of my daughters and friends. I just find it so hard to say no and then I get wrangled into it. I need to start saying, well yes, in a few weeks I might be able to do that. I think that will help.

This is harder than it looks. I know there are things that I need to stop doing, that are a huge waste of time, money, energy, emotional energy and the likes.

Okay, I think my last Don’t Do has to revolve around Facebook. It’s rather like a bad car accident to me. You just can’t help but look at it. Being on the computer a good deal, it’s so easy to pop in, check it out and all that. But I find myself deathly bored with it, and all the sort of tame, polite, sweet little postings of everyone. It’s rather like a room filled with lonely people, with their fingers in their ears, telling the WORLD what they are doing or thinking at this moment and then not really listening much to whatever everyone else is doing. Sure, I know, oh my, I can keep in touch with ___________ fill in the blank (kids, parents, friends, relatives, fans, etc., etc.,) I suppose. But I find it rather irronic that I have like 200+ friends and really only about 10 or 15 of them ever post anything and usually it’s like just so blah and tame. Or it’s umpteen hundred game requests or updates about their mafia or their farm or sending hugs and all that junk.

Yeah, I think I need to NOT check Facebook every hour. (haha) Let’s shoot for check in once in the morning and once in the evening. Yeah.

Okay, so I have my Don’t Dos… everyday errand rambles, free, top priority work and way too much Facebook check ins. Now how do I stop DOING these things?

Well, errands. I think I need to get a little better handle on what is a NOW errand and what is a wait until tomorrow or the next day errand. And I need to start looking for more and more things that I can order online and have sent to me. (If it’s a good deal and all.) I do like local shopping and I am a big fan of it. But I think I need to start really watching for things that I can get easily on say Ebay or Amazon, and stock up and get free shipping, etc., specials.

I do know that I’m trying harder to buy in bulk. I have to make sure that I have GFS Food Service on my monthly shopping list. I am finding some fantastic deals there. Good stock up stuff and the prices are SO much better than conventional stores. Flour, sugar, frozen veggies, noodles, rice, etc. Great prices.

Graphics… well, I just need to remember… “Sure, I can help out in a few weeks…” haha… I think that will help to get me off the hook for things that are in a panic and aren’t going to reward me for putting my life on hold to take care of someone else’s oversight and lack of understanding that my time is money. You wouldn’t expect your dentist friend to drop everything and give you a root canal for free, or your local mechanic to just stop all his paying work and do your car for free… I have to start reminding myself that this is my work and that charity work just has to have a place that makes sense. It has to fit into MY schedule, not alter MY schedule to fit it. After all, my children and myself need to have heat and food on the table, too. And if I don’t take care of my household, then ain’t no one going to be getting graphics when I have to go and work at Kinkos to pay the lot rent.

Well, the Facebook thing? Yeah, I just need to STOP it. Get like a rubberband and snap myself hard every time I start to check it. It will be there in the evening… it’s just a disruption that seems to mess me up way too much every day. And it’s really got no good payoff other than knowing what some barely known “friend” is thinking today about mothers, sisters, veterans or Jesus or some witty quote that is going to make me go “Hmmmmm”. I have enough interruptions in my day as it is. Hundreds of emails a day, and junk mail in the mailbox and all that bombards us on websites and all that. Time to tone that down a bit.

I really like the idea of having a day or weekend long break from technology… a sort of technology Sabbath. Not a bad idea… Hmmmm…..

Well, what might be on your Don’t Do list? Any ideas? Want to share? Leave me a comment!

And spend a little time reading some of Chris Gillebeau’s Blog… Great Stuff!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


My Don’t Do List — 7 Comments

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I admire you greatly. I have been reading your blog for quite some time, and the changes you have made in your life are very admirable. The ones you speak of today are among some of the very same ones I have made in my own life. It is about ownership – of your life. I have found it is not so hard once you define what is really important to you. Thank you for being one of the inspirational blogs I read.

    • Thank you so much… so kind!

      I’m glad that you like what I’m muddling through in this life of mine. I do know that I’m going to keep trying until, hopefully, I get it just right! It’s really close!

      Thanks again, you made my day!


  2. Oh this is a very good one!! I’ve been going through some reassessing myself, and have done a list of things I want to start doing. I really like this idea of a Don’t Do list. Facebook is not really an issue for me, it’s exactly like highschool, only now everyone is older and it’s all about their perfect model-beautiful or star-athlete children or their fabulous jobs and homes.
    My #1 problem is being on the computer before I actually have to be. I work online from home and have a set shift I clock in and out for. I can do all the email and twitter and stuff during work when it’s slow. I do tend to get on the computer before work (like hours before work) just to chat with friends (one of which is in the UK and not awake when I’m at work)and really just waste time all tucked away in my cubbyhole office. I work 7pm-3am so I need to spend those few after-school hours WITH my kids instead of hiding away from them. That’s going to be a hard one. I love my kids, but the older I get the less patience I have, and it’ll be hard cutting back on talking to friends.
    #2 would be Don’t stay up so late. I love the peace and quiet of the house at 4am when everyone’s asleep and I can read blogs and write my blog and just relax with a cup of tea in silence. But the longer I’m awake after work, the longer I sleep during the day and miss out of daylight hours and even sometimes hours with the kids (again sometimes on purpose.)
    Those are two I really struggle with, but this post was really inspirational like the other commenter said. I don’t feel like I’m the only one dealing with this stuff, I guess. Good luck with yours!!

  3. Hmmm. I recently demoted FB to a quick check on certain friends lists twice a day. You can create “lists”, and then filter your feed to only those on a certain list. I have one for “family”, one for “Friends” (who are really friends, not FB friends), and so on. Just selecting whose messages to read really cuts out tons of non-productive time. I like seeing certain things, but like you, not the games or “requests”. I also simply hide all the people who are posting those type things from my feed entirely.

    The biggest time “waster” for me is reading blogs. Not, that is really not a waste in most cases, but it can be time consuming. I am using the same type priority system as I do for FB, categories for the the writers: genealogy, bluegrass, etc. FYI, you fall under “fun”, how much better can it be than that. Fun reads are a priority for me these days. I just use a reader and scan the titles in each category for the things I need to see.

    Wow, this was the first think I read today, and it may end up being the most worthwhile~

    • Oh my gosh! I’m so pleased that I’m in the FUN category! That’s great!

      Yes, I love reading my blogs too… I have about 10 or so that I love to check on… it’s a good “waste” of time to me… because I have learned a lot of neat things, or been inspired to try stuff, make things, do things a little differently… I think of it as my morning paper… seems like I’m usually having a spot of breakfast and just surfing those first up to see what everyone is up to! I know I love to see new posts every day, so that kind of reminds me that I need to post here everyday… I really enjoy that for sure!

      I love the FB ideas… yeah, I do like FB, but sometimes I feel like I check it too much because I’m thinking something REALLY exciting is going to happen and it rarely does! haha… and I like the idea of “hiding” some of the people that well, aren’t really contributing to my daily focus much…

      Thanks for dropping in! :-)

  4. I am beginning to hear more and more from people bored with Facebook. Maybe Twitter, too? I never got into either one of those places because I already knew I spent too much time on the computer with shopping on Ebay and reading various blogs. Plus emailing a few long-letter friends. Egad, enough!

    A long time ago, with young kids yet, I totalled my station wagon. We decided to buy it back from the insurance company and have it fixed by a friend in the bodyshop business who would work on it inbetween urgent jobs and thus charge what we could pay out of the ins. settlement. It took a whole winter. Once a week I would take my husband to work and keep his truck to do errands. In no time at all I learned to love staying home and came to dread errand day. ‘Course part of that was because I had several errands to accomplish whereas I might have done one thing a day before. But it was so much more efficient and I got more things done at home, too. Even self indulgent things like reading and arts/crafts.

    Aw heck, maybe I’m just caught up in the nostalgia of the era of stay-at-home moms and homemakers. But there has to be a middle of the road here. Too many people are choosing the fast lane. I don’t think busy busy busy equals happiness. IMHO

  5. Oh Nancy M!
    I think you have hit the nail on the head with that one… errands and busyness are the bane of our society if you ask me. We are always BUSY…. busy busy busy… our kids, our family… our selves… we have very little time when we fall into the BUSY trap. And it’s wasteful of time, money, energy and all that.

    I always feel bad when I see kids that are involved in umpteen hundred activities and lessons and all, especially after public school all day and then ushered around all afternoon and evening, with hardly any down time. It’s just training them that they need to be fluttering around from thing to thing all day and night… when do they have quiet time to themselves? When do they get to be BORED???

    I’m really going to work at the errand thing… I am SO with you on the errands and car situation. As some might recall, last winter I went almost 3 months without a CAR! Now of course, I had WONDERFUL friends that would come over now and then to trot me out to the grocery or whatever, but still, I didn’t have a car at my convenience and we actually survived! And you know? I actually kind of liked it. It was a great way to cut out social situations that I was iffy about…

    Great comments!!! Thanks!!!