Stop doing things



We are normally focused on doing things. But you could also think about what you should stop doing. What would you and everything around you benefit without?

We go to meetings, we pick up the children after school, we lift weights at the gym to get in better shape and drive to the supermarket to buy groceries. Most of the things we do, we do for a reason so we don’t really question it. And there is, as you have noticed, a tendency to add ever more things to do until we feel that we are doing too much and that time flies too fast. Still, you sense that you are not doing enough and look for ways to fill your days in new, ingenious ways. It is easy to do things, but why is it so hard to stop doing things? We become enslaved by routine, patterns, ambition, duty and deadlines.

A real key to success is to take a critical approach to how you spend your time (or even your life) to find out what you can do without. Some things are obvious to some people, like stop smoking or stop eating unhealthy food. Some things are less apparent, like stop criticizing or stop talking, if that is something you tend to do too much.

You get experience by doing things, and evolve by stopping doing things. And by understanding what you should do less. Can you think of three things you do that you know do not contribute in any positive way to your life, to the people around you or to society as a whole? Write them down. Are you willing to stop doing them?

When you stop doing things it might have consequences in the short and long term, depending on the thing you stop doing. If you stop being married or quit your job, it will probably have more impact on your life than if you just skip another meeting. When you think about stopping doing things, rank the thing by 1) the consequences it will have, and 2) how those consequences will play out in time, short and long term. You will also see the things that you want to keep on doing and maybe do more of.