Directly across from my computer is a bulletin board.
On the board, right in my line of sight, is a five-inch by eight-inch index card with three short lines on it.
The top line reads:
When I look up and see it, I’m reminded to check in with myself. Is what I’m doing worthwhile?
That doesn’t mean it has to be BIG, momentous, all-about-business, or serious. It just means that in this moment, right now, is it worthwhile for me to be doing what I’m doing?
Sometimes it’s a reminder to take a break and – yes – check Facebook, just for fun. Or step away from the computer, skritch the cat, let the dog out to pee.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s a reminder that checking Facebook is a distraction from reaching out to a client, writing this article, preparing to speak at a conference.
What are you doing?
Right now you’re reading this article.
What were you doing just before that? and what will you do right afterwards?
There are probably any number of really gotta do this tasks on your to-do list. Will they get you closer to your goals?
I mean your real goals, not the goal of having everything checked off on that to-do list.
Are they worthwhile? Really worthwhile?
Or is there something else, something waiting for you to “have the time,” something bigger?
Something that will actually move you closer to what you want, closer to who you really are?
Leadership of self is real – and really important
We ask our teams to focus on what’s important.
Yet we often let ourselves slide into focusing on what’s right in front of us in the moment. That could be a ringing telephone, a text message from a client, the accumulation of email in your in-box, or that notification from Facebook.
Some of that might be important.
The challenge is discerning the difference between in-your-face-but-irrelevant and actually-worthwhile.
And that’s the challenge I’m offering you right now.
For the rest of today – for the rest of the week – hey, what about for the rest of your life? – ask yourself: is what I’m doing right now worthwhile?
I get that some things just need to be done. But you don’t have to answer every phone call, you don’t have to respond to every text message or social-media notification when it pops up, you don’t have to leap on each email as it arrives.
It’s a cliché, and therefore really easy to ignore, that we all have the same number of minutes in each day.
But we don’t all have the same number of days in our lives.
When you stop reading this article, what will you do? Is it worthwhile?