What’s a list of anti-goals and why do I need one?
When you think about the goals you’ve set for your business, you’re following long-standing business wisdom. If you want to be successful in a business having goals is what you do because this is what everyone does.
Now, besides goals you need anti-goals.
Once, all you needed was a daily calendar. Today, it’s been replaced by a 365-day goal planner. This is the new time management if you expect to be more effective, more efficient, more productive, and ultimately successful.
The Problem of Not Having a List of Anti-Goals
There’s only one problem with not have a list of anti-goals. Some brave-voiced entrepreneurs are willing to expose the truth that their lives are miserable because there’s no enjoyment anymore when bound to their goal planner.
Thus, the birth of the anti-goals list or the not-to-do list.
Part of being successful is being able to enjoy your work. And, you’re not because you’re overwhelmed by a to-do list of goals. The solution — an anti-goals list.
Not finding the enjoyment they had hoped for, Canadian entrepreneur/investor Andrew Wilkinson and his partner, Chris, were attracted to the concept of ‘inversion.‘ The concept comes from Warren Buffet’s financial partner, Charlie Munger.
“ … ‘inversion’ – a strategy that looks at problems in reverse, focusing on minimising the negatives instead of maximising the positives.”
An Anti-Goals List
Wilkinson and his partner minimized the negatives by creating a list of anti-goals they would not engage in order to better enjoy their work.
- Never schedule an in-person meeting when it can otherwise be accomplished via email or phone (or not at all)
- No more than 2 hours of scheduled time per day
- No business or obligations with people we don’t like—even just a slight bad vibe and it’s a hard no
- Never give up voting control of our businesses, no favors from people who could need something from us (ensure the rule of reciprocity doesn’t kick in)
- Work from a cafe across from a beautiful park where we can come and go as we please with nobody to bother us
- Video conference or pay for people to come visit us
- Never schedule morning meetings, sleep in when needed
The ‘Not-To-Do’ List
Time Ferriss, author and thought leader, prefers minimizing with a 9-point ‘not-to-do’ list.
- Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers
- Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
- Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time
- Do not let people ramble
- Do not check e-mail constantly — “batch” and check at set times only
- Do not over-communicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers
- Do not work more to fix overwhelm — prioritize
- Do not carry a cellphone or Crackberry 24/7
- Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should
After giving this much thought, I created my own 9-point ‘not-to-do’ list (believe me I can go well beyond 9 here).
- Do not answer phone, let it go to audible voice mail
- Do not work at computer longer than 60 minutes without taking a break
- Do not go without eating before I start my workday
- Do not add a new program until I’ve mastered the last one
- Do not sign up for every free offer that comes along
- Do not save every email or article thinking I’ll read it later
- Do not try to make everything perfect
- Do not respond immediately to pop-ups unless they are security flags
- Do not open my computer and go to a news link or Facebook first
Your anti-goals are as important as your goals.
When you stop to look at things differently you can add enjoyment back into your life and your business. If you don’t, you’re in a business being miserable while you’re trying to make it successful.
So, what’s on your anti-goal or ‘not-to-do’ list?
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