There are Just Some Things I Don’t Do and I’m Not Sorry!

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

I’ve always been incredibly busy and I’m incredibly tired of it!!! I used to almost brag that, “my to do list is actually a to do notebook.”

Don’t get me wrong, I currently run tto dontwo successful small businesses and am trying to get my health and wellness passion off the ground more concretely, so I have plenty that needs to be done.


I’m exhausted.  Several months ago I created a “To Don’t Do List” for myself! Have you ever considered such a thing? Some of my to don’ts have been incredibly difficult and there are many I consciously work at, but the concept has already provided some benefits.


Here are a few of the things I don’t do anymore….

– I don’t make time in my crazy schedule for people who can never seem to fit me into theirs. This one was really difficult initially, because it involved friends, but it makes me feel empowered and much, much less resentful.

– I don’t take on other people’s responsibility any more. For example, if a customer says they’ll call me and they don’t, I do not take on the responsibility and call them. When someone asks me to do something and I agree but ask for additional information that I’ll need to do the job, and they don’t get it to me, I’ve stopped reminding them. I don’t make other people’s priorities my own, any more, when they don’t make it a priority.

– I don’t keep my e-mail open all day anymore. When it’s running in the background, no matter how much I tried not to look at it, I did look at messages as they popped up. This left me in a constant state of having to “put out fires”. Now I check e-mail only 3-4 times a day. That’s more than enough.

– I don’t buy non-refundable tickets any more. Things change. It’s more economical and requires less time if I buy refundable (or fly SWA that doesn’t charge a change fee).

– I don’t stay so busy that I don’t have time in my life for what really matters.

– I don’t feel guilty about occasionally wanting time alone or needing a little time to recharge.

– I don’t make excuses for other people (including my grown children) any more. If they do something, that’s their business and their consequence, not mine.

– I don’t (often) get online without setting an alarm. The internet, and especially social media, is a time suck if I don’t pay attention.

– I don’t volunteer as much as I used to. I still love to help but I was spreading myself too thin which means I was doing a disservice to everything I was doing.

– I don’t do everything immediately. I now let customers know it may be a few days, or even a week, before I’ll have time to get back to them but when I do they will have my undivided attention.

– I don’t multi-task as much as I used to (although I still do too much…) because I want to be present in the moment, in the place, with the person I’m with. That means I don’t allow myself to be a slave to my phone either. Unless it’s a special ringtone, sometimes I let it ring and return calls when it’s convenient for ME.

– I don’t provide an explanation of my life priorities nor my eating habits though both have been the topic of much past discussion.

– I don’t say, “I’m fine” every time someone asks me how I’m doing. I answer honestly. This surprises many people and they don’t know how to respond.

– I don’t bid on every job that comes across my inbox and I don’t take on every potential new customer. Some jobs are not worth the stress and some customers are not worth the money.

– I don’t let people get away with not accepting personal responsibility and I don’t let people lie to me anymore. In the past, there have been numerous times when friends and family told me what I wanted to hear, or what was socially acceptable and I let them, even though I knew what they were saying wasn’t true. I don’t do that any more. I’m not being rude and I don’t respond in an ugly way. I merely say (yes, out loud), “that’s not true.”

– I don’t (as often as I used to) try to save the world. I am here to help, anyone with anything I possibly can, but when people do not want to help themselves, I am no longer taking that responsibility upon myself.


And I’m not sorry….

– I don’t say, “I’m sorry” as much. Wow! This has been a difficult one too, and I’m working on it every day. Ever notice how often we say those words?

Being more conscious of it, I can now tell you that 90% of the time “I’m sorry” was just a reflex, I wasn’t sorry. Again, I’m not being rude, I just honestly had no reason to be sorry. For example:

(a) I ordered a Thai chicken salad from Panera. It came without chicken. When I went to the counter, I said, “I’m sorry, but this doesn’t have chicken on it.”

(b) A person who had not taken the time to sign up for class, thought they could just come in and expected a seat. I had to say, “I’m sorry, but since you didn’t sign up, you don’t get to come in.”

(c) Someone ran into me in the supermarket. My first reaction was, “I’m sorry” although it wasn’t my fault.

(d) The taxi I ordered for 330 showed up at 245 and I apologized for making him wait on me.

(d) I had a customer ask for a class date and I wrote in my e-mail, “I’m sorry but that date is full.”….I also caught myself and edited the sentence before I sent the message to merely say, “That date is full.” See the difference?


We apologize about everything ad nauseam. I challenge you. For the next three days, pay attention to how many times you say, “I’m sorry.” I bet you’ll be surprised.


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  1. GREAT list! I love the idea of To Don’t List.

    I am with you on the “I’m Sorry” opening line. I do that all the time. Why? I’m sorry, I don’t know. Oh wait. I jstu did it again!

    I think I say “I’m Sorry” to help lessen the blow as if it were my fault. I feel that it lessens the sting to someone else. Of course, this is not always the best way to approach things (especially when I had nothing to do with it).

    Thanks for the challenge – I am going to see what I do over the long weekend!

    1. Excellent, Paul!! Good luck.

  2. I have been trying to do the things that I used to, especially making time for those who don’t have time for us. And right you are,we say sorry more than often and required. Loves your post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Sylvia on January 4, 2019 at 01:21
    • Reply

    Debbie, am I not following your blog? I don’t think I’ve ever seen this. What do I have to do to follow your blog?

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