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🎆 The Not-To-Do List for 2024

Everybody talks about things they want to do this year. Instead, let's talk about what not to do in 2024.

Dominik Nitsch
5 min read
🎆 The Not-To-Do List for 2024

Welcome to the Not-To-Do List for 2024.

Quick refresher: instead of setting resolutions for the new year (this year I’m gonna do X), I prefer to set anti-resolutions. We all do enough things already anyway; instead of adding, subtract.

Addition by subtraction.

This week, I conducted a Past-Year Review. There, I went through my calendar and  listed the things that gave energy and drained energy. The latter column then informed this Not-To-Do List.

Let’s dive in.

[1] Exclusively read new books

“It’s better to read a fantastic book 5 times than to read 5 mediocre books.” - Alex Hormozi

Last year, I read ~25 books. That’s a lot of material.

I also re-read 0 books. That’s not a lot.

I retain approximately 5-10% of each book that I read (slightly more when I write index cards).

When you re-read a book, you apply spaced repetition, allowing you to retain more of the information featured in that book.

There are a few timeless classics that I recommend to a lot of people. But in reality, I only barely recall what they feature. So in 2024, I want to make the time to re-read the best books I’ve read in the last ten years.

A few on the list are:

Sometimes, a book will find you when you’re ready. I’d encourage you to go through your bookshelf and see whether there’s anything that jumps out to you.

You may not have been ready when you first bought it. Now you might be.

[2] Eat expired food

Food waste is bad.

So in the past years, I’ve been eating a lot of food that was over its suggested expiration date. Which worked well most of the time.

This year, I had food poisoning. Twice. From eating stuff in the back of my fridge that “definitely was still good”.

It’s just not worth it. Throw away food you’re not 100% secure about; don’t be like 2023 Dominik and spend days lying in bed, writhing in pain.

[3] Constantly be busy

There’s some magic in unstructured time.

(Says the person that teaches you to manage your calendar in 15-minute increments.)

When you’re constantly busy, your mind cannot get any rest. This is where the best ideas happen.

So paradoxically, giving yourself unstructured time is productive.

As athlete, I understand the importance of rest. Giving the body time to recover, mend the minor injuries, and build muscle.

Your mind needs the same.

Therefore, I want to spend more time in an unstructured manner. (Maybe need to schedule it?)

If you’re enjoying this post, you might also like my last post:

🎄IG#26: 2023 in review - Stats, Figures, & Outlook for 2024

Dominik Nitsch • Dec 24, 2023

Hey friends, & Merry Christmas! Today is a special edition for me - it marks the one-year anniversary of International Generalist. One year ago, I made the decision to start a newsletter. Mostly as a way to hold myself accountable to writing regularly, an activity that gets me into a flow state and is incredibly rewarding. But hard to do without account…

Read full story →

[4] Show the same compassion to myself that I show to others

Most high performers know this feeling: you have high standards of yourself that you’d never deviate from.

But if somebody else deviates from them, you’re compassionate with them. They had a rough day.  They are going through a difficult phase.

I hate to break it to you: that’s a double standard. You have rough days too. And maybe even difficult phases.

So next year, try to be a bit more compassionate with yourself.

You don’t always have to deliver and be 100% on point. There are good and bad days. Accept that.

(hat tip to my brother Lorenz for pointing this out)

[5] Access the Internet before 11am

In 2023, I started charging my phone outside the bedroom.

The first 60 minutes of my day were filled with calm. Beautiful silence. Lots of room to think, to write, to meditate.

Once I got online (on my phone or laptop), the chaos came back. Messages. Reminders. Requests.

Distractions everywhere. You can feel your mind’s RAM being overloaded instantly.

So instead: why not spend the first 3-4 hours of your day undistracted?

Why not start working on the most important things first?

You can still deal with the rest after 11am.

This is also possible if you work in full-time employment. Educate your colleagues that you cannot take meetings or communicate before 11am. If you work in an ambitious company, they’ll respect that this is the time when you generate your best output.

There’s really nothing that warrants derailing your day right after waking up.

That’s it for 2024.

However, the Not-To-Do Lists from previous years don’t disappear - they still apply.

You can find them here:

And check out this article for detailed instructions on how to do the same exercise.

IG#25: 2 Tools to Prepare You For 2024

Dominik Nitsch • Dec 10, 2023

Good morning & happy Sunday! Grab a coffee, tea, mulled wine, beer, whatever floats your boat, and get your notebooks ready. As today, we’ll talk about setting yourself up for success in 2024 - by looking into the past, the future, and your room (huh?).

Read full story →

This is the last post for 2023. Thank you for joining me on the ride.

To a wonderful year 2024.

And now, I’d be curious to hear: what will you put on your Not-To-Do List?

One ask from my side

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback that some of you really enjoy what I’m writing - which makes me feel giddy, warm, and fuzzy. Please keep that coming.

My friend Lea mentioned recently: “a few friends and myself love the newsletter - we don’t always agree with what you write, but it encourages discussions among us, and that’s awesome”.

I love hearing that. If everybody agreed all the time on the things that I write, this stuff would be boring as hell.

So if you feel anything like Lea, please tell a friend about this newsletter, and maybe even forward them this email. It’s the best thing you can do to help this newsletter grow.

The more people subscribe, the more time I’m forced to spend on writing the best possible newsletter. Again, everybody wins.

Click the button below. 👇

That’s it for this edition of International Generalist. Thanks for tuning in and reading!

Who’s behind International Generalist?

I’m Dominik, and every day, I try to figure out how to become a tiny bit more effective. Then, I share some of the lessons learned here.

When I’m not writing, I build the international business for Sdui - the Leading European SchoolOS -, play Lacrosse, lift weights and enjoy draft beers.

Here’s how else I can help you:


Dominik Nitsch

Proud generalist: Entrepreneur, Athlete, & Writer.

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