My “to-stop-doing” list:

So now that we all know what the point of the Self Employed Movement is, I can finally get going with my journey. A good starting point would be to come up with my “to-stop-doing” list.

What in the world is a “to-stop-doing” list?!

According to Chris Guillebeau and his book, The Art of Non-Conformity:

An important principle of life planning is that you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything at the same time. To be able to devote most of your time to projects and activities you enjoy, you’ll need to be forceful about dropping a lot of other activities.

The best way to stop spending time on unnecessary distractions is to make a “to-stop-doing list.” This is better than a to-do list, because it helps you see what’s bringing you down. Your to-stop-doing list is exactly what it sounds like: a list of things you simply don’t want to do anymore.

I’ve heard of a to-do list before and I’ve made quite a few of them. At first they help boost my focus and productivity but they quickly fall by the wayside after a couple of weeks.

They start to feel like daunting tasks and I just don’t want to do them anymore.

Work = bad. Lazy = good. Something like that…

I’ve heard that “less is more” so hopefully this will help me to see that this is true.

My to-stop-doing list:

  • Stop playing video games.

I’ve be known to waste literally an entire day playing video games. Fifa ’16 is the one that I’ve been obsessing over lately. There was a point in time where I’d play a couple of games when I came home from work almost every work night.

It brought me some joy; mainly in the form of an escape after spending hours at my less than fun day job. I’d start up my Xbox and I’d start zoning out. Instead of facing my issues head on and doing something more productive like look for jobs or blog or work on a business idea, I’d make myself numb. That’s no bueno.

  • Stop stressing about money; especially our debt.

We have a mortgage, we have cars with loans, and we have student loan debt. There was a point in time where I’d run the numbers and come up with crazy ways that we could have our car loans and student loans paid off within 3 years. But that would have come at a great sacrifice; absolutely no savings, no contributing to a 401(k), no IRA, no vacations, and no treating ourselves every now and then.

Basically, we’d be alive but we wouldn’t exactly be living. We’d be miserable. We tried to save absolutely everything we could when I had plans to do that awesome internship and it sucked. Really, really bad.

Focusing on debt has been a negative experience. It’s just a negative subject in general. It is what it is at this point. We’re in debt and stewing over it isn’t going to help. Neither is paying off our debts like crazy with no savings and no fun.

  • Stop checking my phone every couple of minutes.

I get excited whenever I post something on the blog or on social media regarding my blog. It’s gotten to the point where I quite often keep on checking my phone to see if I’ve gotten any more views or if I’ve gotten anymore notes on my Tumblr.

The great part of being on the internet is that people will see my work whether I’m there or not. Checking every couple of minutes won’t speed things up or help me get any more views. It’s not being productive whatsoever and is just wasting time.

It’s also making me not present in the moment. It’s consuming my attention and I’m not enjoying the limited time that I have with my wife and my dog and that’s not fair to either of them.

  • Stop starting and never finishing.

I’ve had lots of business ideas and a couple of other blogs before and for some reason or another I lose excitement or things would get tough and I’m stop working on them.

Shit, I even almost stopped writing on this blog.

It’s actually really easy to start something but it’s difficult to see them through.

You can’t control what happens to you but you surely can control how you react to them.

If you can stick with something long enough, incredible things can happen to you.

  • Stop depending on someone else for my income.

Things are getting more and more ridiculous at my job and there’s nothing more I rather do that put in my 2 weeks notice tomorrow, but I can’t because I have obligations that I need to pay for with my paycheck.

It won’t happen overnight but I’m coming up with ideas that will help me get to the point where I’m solely responsible for my income.

That’s a large amount of responsibility but I’d much rather me be in control of that than anyone else.

Plus, if you can control how you spend your time, you control your life.

* * *

That sums up my “to-stop-doing” list for now. What does yours look like?

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