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15 activities to stop doing that will free your time and your mind…and the rest will follow

1. Stop checking email obsessively. Have you heard? If you’re checking email every five minutes, you’re checking it 24,000 times a year. Unclutterer.com has some good e-ddiction perspectives.

2. Stop paying everyone else before you pay yourself. It will ease your stress and less stress = more time. (Disclaimer: I have, more than once, paid my staff when there wasn’t enough cash flow to pay me as well. That’s just leadership.)

3. Stop lugging. Double up on tools. I have two sets of: power cords, mics, earphones, and makeup kits.

4. Stop last minute, rushing, drag-your-ass trips to the grocery store, bank, and video store. HAVE IT DELIVERED. Get a food delivery service for your organics, set up direct bank deposits and auto payments, get DVDs by mail.

5. Stop doing the tasks that are not in your natural skill set or suck time from doing what you do best that earns the moolah. OUTSOURCE. The upspringing of Virtual Assistants is a phenomenon that enables you to get anything done from anywhere from $4 to $70 an hour, from India to Nebraska, from Twitter pages to legal docs. Invest in your freedom.

6. Stop going out of your way to get to a computer. This may sound contradictory on a time-save list, but I think iPhones can save time and create space. The “I don’t want people to think they can get a hold of me anytime” argument is weak. Master your domain and give yourself the POWER OF MOBILITY.

7. Stop shopping for and buying gifts that need to be wrapped. It’s a rule that means you buy experiences and gift certificates for things like concert and conference tickets, magazine subscriptions, MP3s.

8. Stop cleaning your house yourself. I seethe with resentment when I’m cleaning my stove because I could be doing something I love that makes me money. I did the math: in the three hours it takes to really clean the house, I could do a Fire Starter Session or write an article that would bring me $300 to $3,000. Or nap.

9. Stop with the perfectionism. Give people a chance to rise to the occasion. My kid can dress himself (rubber boots and surf shorts look great!). Staff can figure out most things (mistakes are useful).

10. Stop doing it alone. Team with experts. A great coach, designer, consultant can create quantum leaps.

11. Stop subscribing. Rather than just hitting delete, go through the steps (too many steps too often) to keep your inbox squeaky clean.

12. Stop taking home “free” stuff. Pens, kitsch-filled gift bags from networking events, ugly volunteer t-shirts. You will spend time moving it around or pawning it off at your neighbour’s yard sale.

13. Stop forcing yourself to finish every book you pick up because you think the ghost of your English teacher is watching.

14. Stop dying your hair. At least consider it. For that matter, examine all of your beauty synthetics and waxes and plucks and extensions and wonder how hot and less-stressed you’d be without all that maintenance. Acrylic nails do not help you be more successful. And my theory is that the world is rife with bottle-blondes who’d look much better as brunettes.

15. As for time-sucking fears and neuroses, maybe you need the 5 minute shrink appointment (click to view video).


Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, and soon-to-be publisher of DANIELLE Magazine, launching in early 2014. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec, and business strategist, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice—a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

*Featured image by PD Pics