January 17, 2023

Forget TO-DO Lists, It's Time for DON'T-DO Lists

If you make daily/weekly/monthly to-do lists, consider tossing out the TO-DO list and replacing it with a DON’T-DO list, because, honestly, we need more reminders not to do certain things, especially when it comes to ourselves. We do things to ourselves and our creativity all the time, easily, without even thinking, and usually those things are damaging. It's time to stop obsessing over creating to-do lists for never-ending tasks and time to honor ourselves and our creativity with DON'T DO lists.

Consider These Items for Your DON’T-DO List:

Don’t beat yourself up for not writing.

Don’t work until you drop. Take breaks. Listen to your body and mind.

Don’t rush. Go your own pace.

Don’t put off important tasks. Do them first.

Don’t try to do everything. You’re only human. Get help. Outsource.

Don’t try to please everyone. Please yourself.

Don't get pressured into doing what everyone else is doing.

Don’t dwell on the past.

Don't punish yourself for not meeting a goal.

Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from moving forward.

Don’t accept anything short of what you deserve.

Don’t believe someone else’s lies about you.

Don’t remain silent.

Don't overthink.

Don’t be who you are not.

Create your own DON’T-DO list and focus on one item every day, or one item for a full week. Put your list where you can see it throughout the day: at your desk, beside your mirror, on your fridge, etc.

Take this list seriously, because learning not to do things that harm you mentally, creatively, and even physically is more important than any to-do list of tasks you may have.

Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Don’t sit back. Don’t hide. Don’t fight the moonlight.

Okay…so that last one was inspired by the song “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” but you get what I mean.

QUESTION: Is there a DON'T-DO I shared above that you need to add to your own list? Is there a DON'T DO I didn't think of that you want to strive not-to-do?


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  1. I'm thinking "don't overthink" might be the one I need most!

    1. That's a good one. I overthink a lot, which causes anxiety.

  2. Hi Chrys - I know I've learnt to say 'no' ... and probably am in a pretty good place ... but I certainly hear you re - your 'forget to do list' - but spend time on don't dos ... cheers and all the best this year - Hilary

    1. Thank you, Hilary! Not focusing so much on to-do lists has helped me a lot.

  3. The problem I see with "don't do lists" is that you don't get the satisfaction of making it off :)

    1. You still can. When you officially learn not to do something. Even if it’s for that week/month you devote to not doing whatever it is. 🙂

  4. I really need to focus on certain areas of my life right now, so I keep reminding myself to let more stuff go, to let more things go by the wayside.

    1. I hope a Don’t Do List helps you in that way.

  5. Love the 'Don't Do List':) Wishing you a happy, creative day.

  6. Great post. I especially like: Don’t accept anything short of what you deserve.