This Question Will Help You Boost Your Productivity
Everybody uses their daily 24 hours. Everybody. Every day. Day after day. No one has a choice. Those 24 hours can be abused and misused, but they can’t be unused. They are always consumed.
The 24 hours puts everyone on the same playing field. However, each person’s performance on the field depends on the way they decide to use their 24 hours. And that’s the differentiating factor in the results they get in life.
Every second of the day, you’re doing something. Every second. You’re always doing something: eating, sleeping, brushing your teeth, talking with a friend, playing with your kids, driving to work, meditating, exercising, watching TV, listening to the radio, reading a book, writing a text message, scrolling on Instagram, drawing, taking a bath, crying, walking, swimming, encouraging someone, praying, singing, standing there like a lamppost, working, stargazing, throwing paper planes, and the list goes on and on.
At the end of the day, you’ve furnished your 24 hours with a slew of activities and these make up your decor. If you don’t like your decor, you must change the furniture you’ve been putting into your 24 hours.
To boost your productivity, you must furnish your 24 hours with more productive activities.
The primary type of “furniture” you must get rid of and put on the side of the street are time-wasters: activities that waste your time. They occupy your time but make little to no contribution to your life.
Sometimes, time-wasters have been “decorating” your life for so long that they now go unnoticed. They’re like clutter that you’ve accumulated progressively and don’t pay too much attention to. They eat up a chunk of your time and you don’t even realize it. Sometimes, they even pose as productive activities, and you fall for it. They must be unmasked and eliminated.
You can put the spotlight on time-wasters by asking the following question whenever you’re performing an activity: Why is this the best use of my time? When you’re doing something important, answering this question is simple. (Hint: If you can’t answer, there’s a good chance you’ve just unmasked a time-waster). Time-wasters are never the best way to use your time.
You’re the only one that must define what a time-wasting activity is for you. An activity that’s a time-waster for me may not be a time-waster for you (and vice versa).
From time to time, put your activities on trial. Put them on the bench of the accused and see if they have convincing arguments to defend themselves. See if they have valid reasons for occupying your schedule.
At any moment during the course of your day, you can ask this question and test whether the activity you’re currently performing is a time-waster.
If an activity isn’t helping, it’s hindering. If it’s not pushing your life forward, it’s pulling it backward.
To be clear, activities that move your life forward aren’t only work-related activities. For instance, when you spend an afternoon playing with your children, this might be the best use of your time at that moment; it’s moving your life forward. Being productive is about giving enough attention to the various area of your life. All work, no pleasure, doesn’t work. All pleasure, no work, doesn’t work either.
When you spot a time-waster, you must get rid of it. Beware, like getting rid of an old dresser, when it’s time to drop that activity on the side of the road, you may get flashbacks of all the good times you had performing it and you may hesitate to let it go. Be ruthless; by letting it go, you’re making room for the new.