Diana Kerr »

22 things I don’t do.

“The trick to building a thriving business and living a ridiculously amazing life is simple: you have to get daringly intentional with your time. Investing in the wrong things will never feel like enough, but investing in the right things has the power to change everything.” –Hey Sweet Pea business owners Elise + Scott Grice

It’s amazing this perfect quote landed in my inbox today, because I was already planning on writing this post.

I’m ready to get daringly intentional with my time. Are you? 

I mean it. Life is too short and my priorities matter to much to me to spend time on things–even good things–at the expense of the great things.

Why? Get ready for a really obvious truth bomb:

You can’t do it all.

You can do a lot, and you can manage your time really well and get a lot accomplished, but saying yes to one thing means you’re saying no to another. It’s that simple. And yet it’s crucial. Your time is finite. So choose your yeses carefully.

But don’t forget about that word no. Lean in close, my dear, and let me tell you something that is crazy important: Your life, the precious time you have that’s full of potential and waiting to be shaped, is going to be determined just as much by what you say “no” to as what you say “yes” to. 

So say no. A lot! And feel awesome about it. I say no to a lot more than you might think. There are a lot of things I’ve given up (or have never really done, like cooking), things that are good, to make space for the great. 

Wanna hear some things I don’t do?

shower PinIT

  1. I don’t wash my hair more than twice a week. I don’t even shower every day. (Here’s some Buzzfeed fun about that fact.)
  2. I don’t balance my checkbook. 
  3. I don’t bake. I used to make elaborately-decorated cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, but I got rid of every last bit of it. Good luck finding even sugar or flour in my house.
  4. I don’t pay attention to the news. On TV, online, on the radio . . . (Darren Hardy is a huge proponent of this, and Shawn Achor supports this with scientific research in The Happiness Advantage)
  5. I don’t wash the sheets in our guest room after every visitor. After someone stays for a night, I make the bed, and then I wash the sheets before the next visitor if necessary. If my sister stays over and then the other sister stays over a couple weeks later? I’m pretty sure a sheet washing is not necessary in between that. (And I don’t hide this fact.)
  6. I don’t buy thematic wrapping paper. After using up the last of my Christmas wrapping paper last month, everyone is getting brown kraft paper from now on. And you’re going to like it. It’s trendy. (And cheap and easy.)
  7. I don’t clean until things are noticeably dirty. I dust when there’s a lot of dust, I clean the toilet when it starts to develop a water ring, and I wipe the floors when I spill. Like my husband’s aunt says, you don’t eat off the floors anyway.
  8. I don’t go to some things I’m invited to, sometimes for no reason at all. I never lie about it. I just don’t want to go to every single party or get-together or church event.
  9. I don’t iron my husband’s clothes.
  10. I don’t scrapbook or do crafty things. 
  11. I don’t read books for fun. I’d rather learn when I read, so I read personal growth books or books about health, finance, etc.
  12. I don’t respond to texts right away. Sometimes it takes a couple days, and if it wasn’t urgent, I really don’t feel bad about it.
  13. I don’t Snapchat. I don’t check in when I get somewhere. I don’t play Words with Friends or Trivia Crack. I don’t even change most of the default settings on my phone.
  14. I don’t buy greeting cards for every occasion. Sometimes a sincere handwritten note on a plain, pretty card is good enough, I think. (If you have a wedding or baby shower coming up that you’re inviting me to and you will be hurt that I don’t buy a card specifically for the occasion, please let me know in advance.)
  15. I don’t wash my clothes every time I wear them. I don’t even wash my work out clothes after every use. #airdryonly #good enough #thingsaregettingreal
  16. I don’t cook dinner. (Kyle does.)
  17. I don’t paint my nails. I don’t even have nail polish. (Well, I have two.) I pay someone else to take care of my nails.
  18. I don’t keep up with the Kardashians. Or the Real Housewives, or the Walking Dead, or the Bachelor. Yes, I’m left out of conversations sometimes, but it’s whatever. I survive.
  19. Also, I don’t have Netflix. Or cable. We have an antenna. Good enough.
  20. I don’t keep my pantry or fridge stocked. If you stop by my house, do not expect a full fridge and do not expect bread or peanut butter or milk or cheese or cereal or chips or cookies. We buy healthy food, eat it all up, buy the same food, eat that all up, and repeat.
  21. I don’t update my iTunes. What’s up, 2012.
  22. I don’t keep loyalty cards. Sorry, Qdoba, but there was a 100% chance I’d be dead before earning a free burrito bowl.

There you have it–a sampling of the nos which lead to a lot of great yeses: 

Dates with my husband. Daily workouts. Community Group through our church. Watching my business grow. A debt-free life. Lunch with my mom. Daily time in the Word. Coffee dates with friends. Babysitting my parents’ foster kids.

The more I experience the right yeses and the right nos, the more I crave them.

I’m ready to get daringly intentional with my time. Are you? 

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  • January 29, 2016 - 9:19 pm

    Stephanie - Loved this post! I’ll be making a “no” list with my coffee tomorrow :)ReplyCancel

    • January 31, 2016 - 12:54 pm

      Diana Kerr - That pumps me up so much to hear you say that! Let me know what you decide on!ReplyCancel

  • January 17, 2016 - 9:25 am

    Melinda - I agree with all of these! I say no to so many things that aren’t necessary. I am actually planning on saying yes to more things that I want to focus on this year I get the guilt trips all of the time when I say no but I’ve learned to ignore it & do what’s best for me. And I’m with you on the news- I have not watched news my entire life- the times that I have I end up sad about the evil that goes on- I’d rather not have that negativity but instead surround myself with positivity.ReplyCancel

    • January 18, 2016 - 2:21 pm

      Diana Kerr - Melinda, that is AWESOME. And yes, the guilt trips… agh! Sometimes they come from other people but I’ve found a lot of times I am the one who is creating them (or making them bigger than they are). I’ve gotten better at challenging that and coaching myself through it, and that’s made such a difference in having a little control over what I spend my time on! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2015 - 3:02 pm

    Julie - I loved that you shared your no’s on your website. So often we tend to focus on our yeses and strengths online and do not reveal our no areas. This also makes me feel better because I feel like I have a lot of similar no’s to you, and I was sometimes wondering if I was the only one! However, I do love baking…ReplyCancel

    • July 14, 2015 - 9:07 pm

      Diana Kerr - No, you are not the only one! And I love that you love baking! It’s a good thing that SOME women do, even if it’s not me! Lean into that love of yours and embrace it! :) Meanwhile, you can find me at the gym reading. THAT is my happy place! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2015 - 7:19 pm

    Rachel - LOVE the real-ness of this post! My “word” for 2015 is intentional so this really tugs at my heart. :)ReplyCancel

    • July 14, 2015 - 9:03 pm

      Diana Kerr - Ooh, intentional is one of my favorite words!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2015 - 12:15 am

    Featured Blogger Babe: Diana Kerr - […] If so, what is it? (This link will be shared in the feature post.) One of my favorites and most popular posts is “22 things I don’t do.” I am sooo open about the fact that I intentionally don’t do a lot of things, even though some of the things in my list seem extreme. For me personally, saying no to things or letting someone else do them for me (like my amazing assistant) is one of the best ways I feel I can serve God. Read this post! […]ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2015 - 6:46 am

    Jordan - I love this! So excited to have discovered your blog. Looking forward to hearing more of your heart. <3ReplyCancel

    • June 22, 2015 - 6:19 pm

      Diana Kerr - Aww, thanks, Jordan! I’m glad you found me! How did you come across my blog? I’m going to head over to yours to check it out!ReplyCancel

  • January 30, 2015 - 7:03 am

    friday favorites - Teressa Jane - […] Diana and I are a lot alike in the things we do, or should I say the things we don’t do. […]ReplyCancel

  • January 25, 2015 - 1:26 am

    Anon - It’s fine that you don’t do these things. But what is your point with this post? Are people who do these things in the wrong?ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2015 - 6:33 pm

    keri - So fun reading this and getting to know you better. Good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t shower every day ;)ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2015 - 6:42 am

    Teressa Mackey - we are sooo alike! It’s almost scary.ReplyCancel

    • January 23, 2015 - 7:49 am

      Diana Kerr - Yay, you don’t like to shower either? :)ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2015 - 12:34 am

    ANON - I wouldn’t be proud about not keeping up with the news. What a way to stay uninformed and ignorant.ReplyCancel

    • January 25, 2015 - 4:01 pm

      A Huge Fan of This Blog - I wouldn’t be proud about anonymously accusing someone of being uninformed and ignorant just because they don’t watch the news. That’s a bold assumtpion! The majority of the things I see on the news just make me sad and offer no real value to my life. God Bless you regardless, Anonymous :) And God Bless your choices of yeses and nos, Diana!ReplyCancel

      • January 25, 2015 - 10:35 pm

        A Huge Fan of This Blog - ***assumption. oops!ReplyCancel

    • January 23, 2015 - 7:49 am

      Diana Kerr - I see your point, but I prefer not to fill my head with all the negativity. There are a lot of high achievers who actually subscribe to that thought as well, that you should guard your mind against the news. My husband listens to talk radio almost all day, so he always lets me know what’s going on, or I find out from friends. I know what I need to!ReplyCancel

  • January 22, 2015 - 8:07 pm

    Jen - So many of your nos are my yeses!

    Isn’t it amazing how God made us all so different?!

    May God continue to lead you to the yeses in your life!ReplyCancel

    • January 23, 2015 - 7:52 am

      Diana Kerr - That’s interesting! And that’s totally okay, as long as your yeses are your yeses, not someone else’s. I have friends who find great fulfillment in some of my nos, which is great for them! For me, I want as much free time as possible to devote to my faith life, my friends and family, my hubby, my health, and ongoing learning, so I’m happy to say no to things that keep me from time with my top priorities.ReplyCancel

  • January 22, 2015 - 5:09 pm

    Abbey - Oh, Diana, I love this! I am usually so inspired by these posts that I tend to get caught in the trap of thinking my no’s need to be the same as other people’s. I think it’s important to realize that every person’s yes’s and no’s are going to be different. I need to remind myself often, but I think I’m going to take your lead and make a no list for myself! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • January 23, 2015 - 7:53 am

      Diana Kerr - Yes! Exactly. You hit it right on. Thanks for bringing that up.ReplyCancel

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