Ask Yourself This Question All Day Long
Here’s a question that you ought to be asking and answering several times a day:
“What’s the best use of my time right now?” or a variation, "Is this really the best use of my time?”
There is a huge difference between being busy and being productive. Busy people are flustered. The Productive are more like ducks: Calm on the surface but paddling like mad beneath the surface. Busy people like to show and tell you how busy they are. Productive folks don’t care what you think and they don’t have the time for that kind of thing anyway. Busy people act. Productive people plan.
And busy people ask, “What’s the next thing to do? while productive people have a different question: “What’s the best thing to do?” and then have the courage to challenge themselves with a, “Hey you! Are you being productive or busy right now?”
We all get distracted. We get seduced by the fun tasks and repelled by the laborious ones.
Procrastination is not something we set out to do, it just kind of happens that way, one bad choice at a time. Getting knocked off track is inevitable. It’s easy to find ourselves doing a “want-to” over a “have-to” and there is rarely a Mr. Scrooge to keep us Bob Cratchets on task.
So, you need to self-police.
Challenge your activities and choices by posting some version of “Is this really the best use of your time?” where you can see it during the day. Then, answer honestly and make necessary corrections.
By the way, this tip is not to say you can’t do the occasional unproductive task, like checking Facebook or playing a quick game of solitaire. Adults need recess, too. It’s just that a productive day is not an accident. It’s deliberate. It’s planned and prepared and it’s policed.
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