Should You Have a Not To-Do List?

by Feb 25, 2021Success

Most people have a to-do list. It’s tough to be efficient and remember everything you need to do without one. 

Few people have a not-to-do list. Yet benefits are obvious: 

  • it’s a way to eliminate bad habits and time wasters.
  • it’s a way to help you delegate things you don’t need to do.
  • it’s a way to focus on the important.
  • it’s a way to regain control of your time.
  • it’s a way to become aware of the things you clearly should stop.

Here are a few ideas to help you decide if a not-to-do list is for you: 


  • I will not give in to negativity.
  • I will not have my phone at the dinner table.
  • I will not go to bed after midnight.
  • I will not check FB, PM and IM every 5 minutes.
  • I will not answer calls from unknown phone numbers.

Time management:

  • I will not listen to the news.
  • I will not spend more than 30 minutes on social media per day.
  • I will not check my email before 10 am.
  • I will not watch more than 1 hour of TV per day.
  • I will not waste time on XYZ.


  • I will not drink soda.
  • I will not eat after 8 pm.
  • I will not take the elevator.
  • I will not smoke from now on.
  • I will not eat junk food.



  • I will not gossip.
  • I will not take client comments personally.
  • I will not attend meetings without a clear agenda.
  • I will stop saying “I’ll write in that record later” (i.e. do it now).
  • I will not get an ulcer every time a constipated client leaves a bad review I don’t deserve.


  • I will not buy on impulse.
  • I will not take on (more) personal debt.
  • I will not invest in penny stocks.
  • I will not follow stock advice in chat rooms.
  • I will not follow investing advice from non-experts.

The decisions you make will greatly help you say “no” more often. 

A not-to-do list is a great way to stop chasing shiny objects, doing things you should never be doing and wasting time you can’t afford to waste. It’s a simple but powerful way to focus on what truly matters to you.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Meredith Jones, DVM
Co-Founders of Veterinary Financial Summit