TAFEP Hero 2023 Oct
human resources online

Twitter CEO: How to be more productive with a ‘won’t-do’ list


We have been told for many years that making a to-do list is key to a productive day, but how many times have you felt overwhelmed by the never-ending list of tasks you need to do?

CNBC recently shared a habit Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, has been doing for years to make his day productive.

Similar to a lot of office workers, Dorsey starts his day by listing some priorities such as meditating, working out, writing memos and reading. What is special is he also keeps a won’t-do list that reminds him what not to do.

“Setting the intention to deliberately not work on something gives me clearer space to think and work, and be less reactive. Some items stay on the lists for days/weeks/months,” he tweeted.

Quoting bestselling author Kevin Kruse, CNBC pointed out that to-do lists can’t really distinguish between urgent and important tasks, and don’t acknowledge other more trivial tasks that compete for your time. As a result, to-do lists don’t always reflect what you should do first so you can move on to key priorities.

By ruling out the unimportant tasks, won’t-do lists help you better control and organise your day, and hence, boost productivity.

Dorsey added he checks out the items every day before he goes to sleep, and eventually many of them are moved into the “do” list.

The won’t-do also serves Dorsey a constant reminder of things he shouldn’t do such as being late, avoiding eye contact and setting expectations he can’t meet.

Here is Dorsey's list:


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