A Different List: Stop Doing What Does Not Fit

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swissarmyOver at 37signals’ blog, Signal v. Noise, a reader gave them a heads-up to Jim Collins’ concept of the anti-to-do list: The Stop Doing List.

Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing—and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of ‘stop doing’ lists as ‘to do’ lists.

I was just talking to a buddy this week about helping to define what you want to do by first recognizing those things you don’t want to do – but we were thinking big picture stuff. The Stop Doing List appears to be in the same church but a different pew – a tactical list of the stuff that gets in the way.

I want to think more about this. If you feel the same way, head over to Signal v. Noise to see the rest of the post that includes a couple tasty links to Collins’ material.

Additionally, in the comments, someone suggested Collins got this concept from Peter Drucker. You can download Drucker’s Managing Oneself (HBR, 1999) as a pdf here.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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  • http://ahgeorge.com Alex George

    Of course. Why has nobody thought of this before? THIS is what I need. Thanks for sharing.