Friday, December 11, 2009

Work-Life Balance: What is on your ‘Not-To-Do’ list?

Our December 8 Women’s Leadership Webinar featured guest speaker Nina Bhatti, who as Principle Scientist for HP Labs is one of their most senior-ranked technical women leaders.

One of the work-life balance tips discussed was the Not-To-Do list. Create a list of things you give yourself permission not to have to do, for the sake of your sanity and work-life balance. This is a great way to deal with the guilt of having to be a superwoman.

We asked webinar attendees to share with us some items that were going on their not-to-do lists. Not surprisingly, there was a deluge of responses! Here they are:

  • Washing my car!
  • Susan isn't cleaning her house anymore
  • Not to cook a dinner few times per week
  • Not to go back to school yet
  • Always saying yes
  • Limit laundry
  • Passing the chore off to the kids for feeding the dogs!!
  • Not planting new flowers every spring
  • No working out on weekends
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Keeping Saturday mornings to myself - no soccer
  • I'm going to stop feeling guilty for not doing morning workouts... I'm not a morning person and that's OK!
  • Don't answer the phone in the evening
  • Doing my 18 & 20 year olds’ laundry
  • I am not going to edit anymore of my daughters papers.
There were lots of timely holiday-related Not-To-Do list items:
  • Not decorating the house for every holiday
  • Not working during the vacation
  • Send Christmas cards
  • Giving up grocery shopping
  • I no longer decorate so extensively during the holidays
  • Accept all the friend holiday invites
Nice work ladies. Lose the cape!

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Nina Simosko said...

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece on 'work-life balance' entitled "A Little Misnomer about the Work-Life Balance" [] in which I talked about focusing more on outcomes than on work or life. Changing the focus to desired outcomes in either realm frees us up from over-emphasizing clear delineations between the two. Anyway, great concepts in the not-to-do list, but think about new ways to manage the many competing priorities throughout your life's continuum.

Jo Miller said...

Thanks Nina!

For those of you who don't know of Nina Simosko, she has been a regular guest speaker in our women's leadership webinar series. Check out this blog post where Nina answered webinar participants' questions on office politics

Nina's blog is an awesome, highly recommended resource for up-and-coming leaders.

Nina Simosko said...

Thanks Jo!!

John Miller said...

This is a very good idea.

I think I need a not-to-do list. The to do list seems to be getting longer and longer.