A “Not-To-Do” List for Boosting Productivity

Busy professionals and homeowners often find solace and guidance in creating task lists. However, it is equally important to consider having a “not-to-do” list. I enjoy reading the blog of Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week. His book is somewhat controversial and he is as well. Regardless of how one views Ferris, I think that we can obtain relevant insights from what he has to say. For instance, the 80/20 Pareto principle that he advocates can be employed in analyzing the utility of many endeavors, both professionally and personally. “Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. Ferris feels the reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

Here are nine habits that Tim suggests we stop doing now. To understand his rationale for each you’ll have to read his post.  Whether or not you agree with these views they should provide some good food for thought.

  1. Don’t answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers. Let it go to voicemail.
  2. Don’t e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
  3. Don’t agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time.
  4. Don’t permit people ramble. Redirect the conversation to stay on point.
  5. Don’t check e-mail continuously – “batch them” and check at defined times during the day.
  6. Don’t over-communicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers (the 80/20 principle applies here).
  7. Don’t work more to fix overwhelm – prioritize. If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important.
  8. Don’t carry your mobile device 24/7.
  9. Don’t expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should. Work is not all of life.

It’s important to focus on getting things done, but it’s only possible once we remove the constant static and distraction. Ferris suggests, and I agree, that if you have trouble deciding what to do, just focus on not doing. Different approach, same end result.

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Moving

No matter how many times you’ve moved, you’re bound to make mistakes here and there. Moving is one of the most stressful and exciting times in someone’s life and it’s easy to overlook essential details or rush to do things last minute.

Luckily, people who came before you have made these mistakes so you don’t have to. If you’re one of the countless people who are planning to move into a new home this year, here are some mistakes to avoid at all costs.

1. They don’t protect their valuables

When it comes to valuable goods, some things are simply irreplaceable. Even if you don’t have antique jewelry left from your third aunt twice removed, keeping your important documents and materials safe during a big move is essential.  

Getting a watertight safe is the best way to ensure your valuables are protected. After all, you wouldn’t want these items to get into the wrong hands. You might want to put some of the following materials in your safe:

  • Passports
  • Social security cards
  • Small, luxury items like watches and jewelry
  • Valuable coins
  • Stamps
  • Prescription medications

2. They pack up everything — and we mean everything

Moving is the perfect time to declutter your home and perform a little “spring” cleaning. If you catch yourself wondering about the purpose of an item or document, your best bet is to throw it in the trash or feed it through a paper shredder. If you’re struggling to decide whether or not to kick it to the curb, keep this in mind: have you used it in the last two years? If not, don’t hesitate.  

For items that are still in great shape, however, you can always make an event out of it. Throwing a yard sale is the perfect way to save time and effort while making a couple extra bucks for your trip. You’ll be able to streamline your move with fewer items to pack and your new home will benefit from a less-cluttered space. Donating to charity is a great option for items that didn’t sell well. If you can’t use them, someone else can certainly benefit from your donation.

3. They do it all alone

Sometimes people think that doing things on their own will save them time and money. Why would I need a mover, a professional organizer or moving coordinator when I have two perfectly good hands, myself?

Professional movers, organizers, and relocation specialists are trained and experienced.  They know how to coordinate a move properly so that your goods will remain safe and arrive undamaged to their destination.  They’ve dealt with hundreds of moves and know the best strategies for packing up your home in a manner that makes the most sense. Boxes may be labeled and inventoried so items are unpacked with ease.  Experienced movers will know how to disassemble and reassemble furniture and maneuver around corners and through doorways. Moving coordinators and professional organizers understand how to efficiently unpack the contents of your home and settle you in with as little stress as possible. You’ll be delighted when you see how simple and fast your boxes will be emptied and for your belongings placed in your new home in a tidy, logical and well-organized manner.

4. They procrastinate

Moving takes a lot of time, patience, planning and effort.  If you wait until the last minute to get started, you’ll likely lose things, pack items incorrectly, or break valuable items in the process.

Beat back procrastination by following a daily packing routine. Instead of doing a bunch of packing at once, intersperse is throughout your day or follow a routine to ensure each room of the house gets done. On Monday, focus on items adorning your shelves and surfaces. Tuesday, pack up your kitchen appliances. Wednesday, do the guest bedroom. By starting to plan your move in advance, you’ll prevent procrastination. You’ll also feel great ticking off each item on your checklist.

The relocation specialists and professional organizers at In Order to Succeed have created a comprehensive home moving checklist that you can download to make your move easier.

To Download In Order to Succeed’s Relocation Checklist  Click Here

5. They don’t forward their mail

You think you’ve done it all: you’ve canceled cable, dismissed the electric company, sent in your two weeks to the job you hate, and finally told off your landlord (okay, maybe not the last one).

However, many people forget to forward their mailing address. Not only can you be missing out on important documents, you might also be putting your personal information at risk. When no one is available to pick up your mail, it might end up in the wrong hands. Don’t forget this vital moving step.

Relocating to a new home may be an experience of a lifetime, but it can be overwhelming if you’re prone to stress. To streamline your packing process, avoid these common mistakes people make while moving. Give yourself sufficient time and enlist the help of a solid team so you can sail through your transition with calm and ease.  


This article was written by Casey Ribek of Colonial Van Lines.

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