Increase Productivity with a Don’t Do List


Most people say they don’t like meetings. They’re boring. Nothing gets accomplished. The same information could have been delivered by memo.

The leaders say, “We’ve got to make our meetings better.” They read books and attend seminars. They hire consultants. They buy better equipment.

The meetings improve. They pat themselves on the back. Success.

Or not.

Instead of trying to improve their meetings, maybe they should have eliminated them.

One of my favorite Peter Drucker quotes is, “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”

Go through your calendar. What meetings or conference calls could you safely eliminate?

Go through your tasks and project lists. What are you planning to do that should not be done at all?

Observe your daily work flow. Which steps could be eliminated? Which parts could be delegated?

Efficiency means doing things better. Effectiveness means doing the right things. It matters not how well you do things if they should not be done at all.

So try this: for the next seven days, compile a “don’t do” list. Write down everything you do that isn’t necessary or doesn’t contribute to your most important goals.

Take stock of whatever is left, whatever should be done. Look for ways to do them quicker, better, or more efficiently.

Make sure your partners and employees do the same. At your next office meeting…wait, never mind. Just send a memo.

Earn more and work less. Click here.