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The Mindful Entrepreneur

The Stop Doing List & Unmade Decisions

Categories: Productivity - Simplicity

I feel it’s a wholly appropriate time to give myself a stop doing list. You see, I’ve found my myself recently repeating some tasks over and over. Tasks which are neither productive, beneficial or even appealing. But I keep doing them. As an example, I often buy things on eBay for my Nostalgia site. BUT I often find myself umming and erming over a particular purchase. I tend to add the item to my shopping cart, but then it sits there, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks. I then regularly contemplate this item, by logging on to ebay, considering it, looking around for cheaper versions, weighing up the pros and cons of the purchase. FOR WHAT? FOR WHAT?!

If I really needed the product. If I thought it was really going to be beneficial, I would have purchased it right? Yes, is probably the answer. It’s true that there has been times in the past where a particular purchase has proven very useful, or make a good return in terms of cost vs. the value I can see it at. But, ultimately, I’m sitting here wasting time with an unmade decision in my mind.

Unmade Decisions

The unmade decision is a peculiar one. It sits in your mind and it saps energy. It saps energy because you haven’t made a commitment for it yet, but you’re still thinking about it. It’s taking up your mental energy and it needs to be cleared. You can either;

  1. Decide, Yes or No, now
  2. Decide to decide later (yes, that’s a thing)

Making a decision now, is usually the best choice and your instincts tend to be right. But as a secondary option, deciding to decide at a set point in the future can push that item out of your mind. This frees up your mental capacity, and it allows you some time where you’re not considering the item. When the crunch time comes for your decision, you may find it’s a much easier decision to make, as you’ve had time to clear your mind.

Back to the List

So, although I’m not putting “stop doing unmade decisions” on the list. I am putting the current main causes of them onto the list. For me that is;

  • Stop buying things off eBay (I really don’t need to)
  • Checking own youtube videos
  • checking Facebook frequently
  • Checking steam or GOG for offers

As you can see, these are really procrastination issues. But they’re things that stick in my life (possibly yours too). When you get a sticky/springy item in your life that isn’t giving you any positive benefit, you should add it to your “Stop Doing List”, and you should keep this list close at all times. Perhaps on a sticky note on your monitor, or on your phone’s screensaver screen.

Whenever you catch yourself doing something on the “Stop Doing List”, all you need to do is to stop doing that particular item. Free it from your mind and instead do something that will benefit you, enrich your life or grow your soul.

Also, remember, this isn’t a todo list. I am generally against todo lists – this is the opposite, it’s freeing up your time, not clogging it. This is a positive list, so in my books, it’s fantastic.

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About the author: I’m the Founder of Own the Web (aka. Mindful Marketeer), & I’m passionate about helping good causes, local & small businesses grow by bringing clarity to situations. I do this through my work at Own the Web, whilst practising mindfulness & blogging about it here. Other quick facts also include I’m a vegan, an individualist, equality champion & a mindful free thinker. Connect with me on Twitter or Peter Leigh on Google+.

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