To-Do Lists are an excellent way to get out of any sort of procrastination. They have been proven to increase productivity as well as personal satisfaction. On the other hand, It is also important to take a break and have a “No-To-Do” Day.
I took the plunge and sent all of my clients an email saying “from now on, Fridays are out of office days”. This also counts for our collective members - a much bigger poll of clients, counting we have over 150 people in there.
At first, I felt a bit sick about it - I always thought I had my boundaries clearly set, yet it looks like I still have some work to do! Yet, it felt good - this was an action taken more out of necessity, than a pure experiment.
As we are ramping up for the publication of my second book, I had to be honest with myself, and make sure I would take the time to focus on promoting ahead of the release of Reclaim your Time Off.
Once you set boundaries, you’ll be surprised at how easily people will adapt to them. If anything, being less available means people will be more proactive when it comes to taking action.
In light of that decision, I also decided I would keep my Fridays completely blank. No meetings, no calls, no tasks in my to-do.
I call this a “no-to-do” day. This is incredibly effective when it comes to streamlining your schedule. Why is that?
The No-to-do day allows me to focus on anything I feel my attention should go to. It does not mean I do nothing at all. It means I can take the time to do anything I feel needs to be completed or revised.
Being able to free your mind and make more space at least once per week has immense power.
I often find two or three tasks from my weekly schedule keep being pushed back relentlessly and I used to end up finishing them on Saturdays. Having a day with nothing planned or scheduled allows me the flexibility of making the time to re-evaluate what I have been doing in the past week, review my efforts and tie any loose ends.
How to have a no-to-do list day
Setting up a no-to-do day does require some prep work, specifically:
- Creating clear boundaries to allow one day with nothing on your calendar - for each person, it will be a different day. Make sure it makes sense with your schedule.
- A way to see your weekly tasks at a glance to make sure you keep that day free from any specific projects.
- Commitment and willpower to stick to your guns and don’t allow anyone to breach that safe space you created for yourself. That may mean not checking emails, muting yourself on Slack or whatever is necessary to protect that space.
As I am diving headfirst into this experiment with the no-to-do days, I am excited to see how it will affect my performance, energy level and overall wellbeing.
Setting the boundaries in place already made me feel more empowered, focused and ready to achieve what I set myself to for the coming month.