There’s never enough time.

One day I might write about how cool it is to have a ‘To don’t’ list. A list of things at either individual, team or organisational level that you want to stop doing.

Here’s a simple method to help teams identify what to stop, so they can free up time for important stuff like thinking, learning, innovating etc.

It’s a fun exercise, leading to plenty of laughter, but always results in serious and necessary conversations.

It takes about 30 minutes and can be run in-person or remotely

There are 3 phases. Here’s what to do.

  1. Form the group into small teams of 4 or 5. Ask each team to ‘Identify this team’s most important goal or objective. Then make a list of all you can do to make sure that you achieve the worst possible result with regards to that objective.’
  2. Ask each team to go down this list item by item and ask themselves, ‘Are we currently doing anything that even slightly resembles this item?’ Challenge them to be brutally honest and make a second list of all the stuff the team is doing that could be counterproductive.
  3. Instruct the teams to go through the items on their second list and agree what first steps will help stop what we know are activities that cause undesirable results.

Allow 10 minutes for each stage. Keep it moving quickly.

Keep things focused. Don’t allow suggestions to do things differently or additionally to make something work. The exercise is about identifying what can be stopped.

Get each group to share their conclusions and aim to make some decisions about what will stop,  who will stop doing it, from when and who else needs to be informed.

That’s it, it’s a little different, can be a lot of fun and certainly provides a forum for people to be bold and discuss what had previously been held sacred – in pursuit of creating more time for the important stuff.

Borrowed from