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HomeIsrael and SocietyNoahide WorldMy Stop-Doing List
 
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My Stop-Doing List    

My Stop-Doing List



Why spend time doing things that other people can do for you, when you can spend your valuable time on things that really propel you toward your goals?

 



Have you ever heard of a stop doing list? I heard of this term quite a few years ago in relation to time management tips and tricks very accomplished people use to achieve so much success. The idea was, why spend time doing things that other people can do for you (or things that really don’t need done at all to further your success) when you can spend your valuable time on things that really propel you toward your business goals.

 

Being a list maker, and especially fond of to-do lists, this sounded like a technique right up my alley. I looked at their examples: check email only once per day, hire a VA (virtual assistant) for all of your scheduling and travel arrangements, disable the voicemail on your phone, eliminate all non-goal-essential tasks, etc…  Sweet. This stuff sounds great. I made my stop doing list and filed it in my brainstorming manual…. Never to be considered again.

 

Over the years the term would pop up now and again…. I liked it every time I crossed paths with it and I even used the concept when counseling clients. But I never implemented it into my own life. That is, until today.

 

I had (what I used to call, before I learned about emuna) a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) this morning. I needed, really needed a stop doing list in my life.

 

You see, I recently fired one of my clients for, among several reasons, the enormous drag on my time and emotions this client took with no forward movement on their part. I anticipated getting 30-40 hours of my time back per week, not to mention getting an enormous negative emotional influence out of my life.

 

40 days post this change and I’m just as “busy” as I was when I was working with this client. My other clients are not getting the additional time I planned to spend with them, the new project I had planned has not moved forward, and, worst of all, I had planned to dedicate a significant portion of that newly available time to spiritual pursuits – studying, hitbodedute, supporting my family, figuring out my mission in life…. That hasn’t happened either.

 

Why? Because I filled up that time with time-fillers. Things that I don’t need to be doing to accomplish my mission on earth. Want to know my reasoning? I don’t know my mission on earth. So instead of working on figuring that out (i.e. prayer) I filled up my time with other things.

 

This morning my BFO, or rather Hashem gave me a gift of illumination, was that I don’t need to know what my mission is in order to move forward towards it. How? By eliminating things (creating a stop doing list) of things I know are not my mission. Some things immediately popped into my mind.

 

  • Facebook – I’m pretty sure my mission on earth does not revolve around knowing the details of my acquaintances’ lives.

 

  • Phone Fun – I doubt I’m going to be texted the mission of my life while choosing just the right filter to apply to my latest Instagram photo.

 

  • Blogs – So even though I’ve eliminated most secular news from my viewing I have found myself reading several blogs that serve no more purpose than reading Facebook updates.

 

  • Worrying – I put a whole lot of things in this category – including time spent sitting around considering different scenarios of how certain situations might turn out. I don’t see anything in here that will point me to my mission.

 

  • Busy Work – Yes, I have work to do… but there is also a whole lot of busy work that is often simply just more fun than the real work that needs done – and therefore it takes over… and suddenly I’m “behind” with the real work and have to spend hours that should be dedicated to other parts of my life catching up on work. Seriously doubt I’m going to be enlightened as to my mission while checking which company team is ahead in the latest fitness challenge.

 

Here’s the tricky little bit with all of this. I don’t feel I do any of these things to excess. It would be (and has been) easy to justify it… especially when I compare the amount of time I spend on these types of activities to other people around me.  However, when I just ran the numbers it was sobering. If I average 20 minutes per day on Facebook alone that is almost 122 hours per year! That is 5 whole days of my year, of my LIFE, gone!

 

I look at those numbers and wonder, perhaps I would already know my mission in life if I had put those 20 minutes per day into prayer about it instead of “investing” it into Facebook. What if I had spent those 5 days praying for my husband? My son? For Israel?

 

If I truly want to spend more time on things of a spiritual nature, if I want to serve my family more fully, if I want to learn more deeply, if I want to discover and achieve my mission on earth then I’ve got to do more with this stop doing list than simply filing it away as a good exercise.

 

These time-wasting habits need to be replaced with time-fulfilling habits. A book needs to be in my hands more often than my phone, social media needs to be shut off and real relationships need to be nurtured, worry and imagined scenarios need to vanish and time in personal prayer needs to be enhanced.

 

So, there you have it. My stop doing list. My prayer is that I can continue to truly evaluate each of my activities – holding them up to the light of truth to determine if they belong on my stop doing list. I encourage you to join me in this endeavor.

 

 

* * *

Jennifer invites you to participate in a regularly held Noahide on-line study group that reviews the garden series books of Rabbi Arush. You can contact her at jenniferjwoodward@gmail.com for dates and times.





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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  1.
  Great advice.
lisa7/12/2015 11:15:21 AM
     
 

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