What To Do With Tasks and Activities You Shouldn’t Do

Let’s agree on this. You can’t do everything. You can’t do everything because you don’t have time to do everything. You can’t do everything because you’re not good at everything.

There are tasks and activities you should stay away from. Some you shouldn’t do ever. Some you shouldn’t do most of the time. What these are, you’re the best to know. But here are few pointers.

Not Profitable

There are tasks and activities you shouldn’t do because they add no real value to your life. These are tasks that don’t help move your life forward. They don’t help you achieve your goals; in fact, they may even be hindering your path.

These suck your time and energy but provide no return on your efforts. These time-wasting activities creep in your schedule like dust infiltrates a house. You need to sweep them out of your life regularly.

If you audit your current tasks and activities, you’ll probably find that you spend a few hours a week on these.

Not Your Place

There are tasks and activities you shouldn’t do because you’re not made for them: you’re not good at them. These take you outside of your strength zone and place you into your weakness zone; your talents and skills don’t match these; when performing these tasks and activities, you’re out of place.

Not only do these demand a lot from you, but they also shed the worst light on you. They frustrate you because you struggle; they frustrate others because you’re unable to produce the expected results.

For example, if you’re not good with numbers, you want to stay away from tasks related to accounting.

These may be tasks and activities you enjoy, but they’re not where you add the most value: where you make your best contribution. These must go.

Not a Passion

There are tasks and activities you shouldn’t do because your heart isn’t in them. And when your heart isn’t in something, sooner or later, it inevitably affects your performance. It’s not that you don’t have the ability to perform them, it’s just that performing them makes you miserable. And in the long run, it affects your results.

Just thinking about these makes you ill. And this isn’t sustainable. Life is too short to spend time doing things that don’t light you up.

These need to go, lest they eat you up from the inside.

Thus, there are tasks and activities you shouldn’t do because they’re either not profitable, not your place, or not a passion of your (or any combination of these three reasons). So, what can you do with the tasks and activities you shouldn’t do? You have three main options.


Your first line of defense against tasks and activities you shouldn’t do is to purge them out of your life: stop doing them all together; eliminate them from your life.

These may have been a necessary part of your journey, but it’s now time to let them go.

You may not be able to eliminate all the tasks and activities you shouldn’t do, but you can make small wins by purging what you can.

Pass On

Once you’ve purged the tasks and activities you could, there are a few more you can perhaps pass on to others who are a better fit for these: others who are good at performing those tasks and activities and who enjoy them.

Most of your time and effort should be invested on valuable tasks and activities that leverage strengths and passions. The rest can be purged or delegated to people who will be, by performing these tasks and activities, leveraging their strengths and passions.

Push Through

You’ve purged and passed on what you could. Now what? You must push through the rest: you must tough it out for a little bit until you can purge or delegate them.

For example, you need to file your taxes every year. This isn’t something you can purge out of your life and you may not be in a position to pass on (i.e. outsource) the preparation of your tax returns. You must push through: prepare your tax returns yourself until you can pay someone to do them for you.

When you come across a task or activity you shouldn’t be doing—whether because it’s not profitable, it’s not your place, or it’s not a passion of yours—you can purge it out of your life, pass it on to someone who is able and willing to perform it, or push through until you can purge it or pass it on. When you discipline yourself to invest your efforts where you get the most return, your results will soar.