Posts Tagged ‘not-to-do list’

To-Do and Not-to-Do Lists

Lisa Call is a textile artist whose blog is filled with the inspiring work she does on herself, as well as on her fabrics. Her recent post, titled Not To Do List, inspired me to clarify my own priorities in life in a new way.

Of course, both my physical desktop and my computer desktop are frequently strewn with to-do lists of varying time frames — things I need to do today or this week, people to call, projects and goals for moving my career forward, action plans for increasing my effectiveness and satisfaction, for managing the household and tackling the daily chores… But a general life-priority to-do list, paired with a similar not-to-do list seems to offer a good framework for staying on course, in general, and true to my most enduring intentions. I consider these lists to be works in process, to be refined over time, but here’s a start:

Not-to-do List


  • Get caught in negative thinking spirals.
  • Cast blame (verbally or in thought).
  • Pull out my eyebrows and eyelashes or pick and bite my fingers and nails.
  • Berate myself for pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes or picking and biting my fingers and nails.
  • Struggle against the situation I find myself in.
  • Avoid doing things I fear, if everything else in me says to do it.
  • Compare, when it serves as justification for complaining.
  • Be reactive.

To-do List


  • Interrupt negative thinking.
  • Favor presence over thinking.
  • Be a receptive listener — create a space in which others communicate openly.
  • Love, nurture, and cultivate my environment.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Reach out to people.
  • Write.
  • Create beauty.
  • Relax.
  • Open to my current experience.
  • Be spontaneous.
  • Go for walks.
  • Be responsive.

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