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Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try

A positive twist on your to-do list ...



I'll try to get to your party, your friend says. I'll try to be better in the future, your kids say. I'll try to not let that happen again, your work colleague says. I'll try to get to the gym tonight, you say ...

Yoda's most famous saying was 'Do or do not. There is no try' ...

Yoda's most famous saying was 'Do or do not. There is no try' ...

When you or someone you know says they will try, you know it isn't likely to happen. If people want to do something they will prioritise it over everything else and get it done.

"As Yoda said so eloquently, 'Do or Do not. There is no try!'"

For instance, I know that my invoicing will get done above everything else as a priority. There is no trying to get my invoices out as they are key to my survival. I do the invoices regardless of how I'm feeling or what else I have on.

The cost of not doing them is too great. After all, I do like to have a roof over my head and food to eat, which the invoice payments provide me with.

However, the other stuff on my to-do list may or may not get done. They are often the tasks that, when I am really honest with myself, I just don't want to do for some reason or another.

So, what is the solution to getting things done that you know you won't do?

  1. Assess the task. Does it really need to get done or is it really a nice to have? If it isn't critical to you or to something important like your business or family, then simply don't do it. Take it off the to-do list until it does become critical (if it ever does!)

  2. If it is critical to do and you don't want to do it, delegate it to someone else wherever possible. Hate finance for instance? Hire a bookkeeper or delegate to an employee who loves numbers.

  3. If it is critical and you are the only person who can do it then ask yourself, what is the real problem?

    1. Do you feel underskilled for the task?

    2. It looks like a hard slog and you just don't feel up to it?

    3. Is it really boring?

    4. I just don't like doing it

    Then take your answer and transform it into positive statements such as:

    1. If I was more trained, the job would be easier (so get the training)

    2. I could do this task if I were feeling more awake, so I will do it in the morning

    3. I can make this task exciting by setting goals and rewards

    4. I could do the task I don't like while watching TV at night making it less boring

Looking at things in a more positive way will help you solve the problem of getting things done.

If you need a hand to transform your to-do list into a list of positive actions you actually want to do, give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as a professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in business and personal life.

This has led me to productivity and how I can be the best I can by devouring hundreds of blogs and books on the subject and practising meditation and mindfulness techniques. Combined, this has helped me understand what needs to be done to improve the performance of processes and more importantly you.

If you would like to know how I can help you do call me!


01858 414226