A series on how to improve your life, 5 minutes at a time.
Today: Stop and ask yourself one question
Several times a day, stop what you're doing and ask yourself: "Is this the best use of my time right now?"
If it is, congratulations!
If not, figure out what IS the best use of your time at that moment and do it instead.
This is important because it's so easy to get distracted or to pay attention to the urgent rather than the important. Of course the urgent must be done, but is this the best moment to do it? It's not that we don't know what we should be doing, but that it's so easy to forget.
Of course it's also easy to forget to ask yourself this question, so I recommend setting an alarm on your phone or tablet or watch for three times during your work day. When the alarm rings, ask yourself the question and, if necessary, adjust what you're doing. If the alarm would annoy others, set it to vibrate.
Probably you already know the times of the day you tend to get distracted, so schedule the alarms accordingly.
TIP: If what you're doing is enjoyable but not the right thing at that moment, schedule it as a reward for finishing the thing that IS the best use of your time.
(If you're looking for additional innovative ways to be more productive, get a copy of my book, "Focus: use the power of targeted thinking to get more done." It's published by Pearson and available from your favorite bookseller.)