By Jessica Shambora
June 11, 2009

“I saw that those who were really effective made use of not just a “to-do” list but a “stop-doing” list. ”

— Jim Collins, management guru and best-selling author, in an interview with Time regarding his recently published fourth book, How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. Doing research for the book, Collins says he found that people who are successful in today’s world are clear about what they are not going to do. He follows this advice himself, setting aside part of his day where he turns off his cell phone and does not get on the Internet. “I also leave white space on my calendar, roughly three days every two weeks. Nothing can be scheduled during white-space time,” he says. “I try to create bubbles of tranquil time for hard thinking.” Most of us could use more white space and bubbles — it’s up to us to create them. –Jessica Shambora

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