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Write a “not-to-do” list to keep you focused

Freelancing in almost any field is tough, you are your own boss, which is great, but that means there’s generally no one watching over your shoulder to make sure you get the job done. You have to make you stay focused. You have concentrate. You have to be self-motivating. Stick to deadlines. Yada, yada, yada.

But, according to Lifehack, if you take a moment to sit back and list everything that distracts you during those hours you otherwise set aside to do your freelancing, you will no doubt be rather shocked to find that you have as long a list of things that help you procrastinate as make you productive.

There’s always, email to check, spam to filter, a TV new bulletin to watch, good old fashioned surfing the net to take part in, and perhaps for some good old fashioned surfing. There are always apps to update, recycling bins to empty, malware to scan for, podcasts to listen to, a guitar to strum, a banjo string to pluck. It can be endless. Tom Ewer on Lifehack suggests creating a list of Banished Tasks to keep you on the straight and narrow to ensure your work ethic doesn’t get pathetic.

Rather than listing banished tasks, I’d prefer to say write yourself a “not-to-do” list. It’s the opposite of a to-do list. A to-do list is the bane of time management, but sticking to your not-to-do list leaves you free to get done the jobs you’d normally put on its positive counterpart.

Without wishing to give you another excuse to procrastinate, why not tell us what’s going on your “not-to-do” list?

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