Reasons to quit – are you working your priorities?

April 28, 2010

Our time is a precious and very finite resource. So are you spending it wisely in your work? In the chapter on Productivity in the book Rework, the authors ask 8 questions to help you decide if you are doing what is important or if it is something you need to stop doing.

Following are the questions:

1. Why are you doing this? – Do you ever find yourself working on something without knowing exactly why?

2. What problem are you solving? – Exactly what problem are you trying to solve?

3. Is this actually useful? – Are you making something useful or just making something?

4. Are you adding value? – Adding something is easy; adding value is hard.

5. Will this change behavior? – Is what you’re working on really going to change anything?

6. Is there an easier way? – Problems are usually more simply solved than we imagine.

7. What could you be doing instead? – What can’t you do because you’re doing this?

8. Is it really worth it? – Great question – is this meeting really worth pulling six people off their work for an hour?

Jim Collins in Good to Great talks about the importance of a “Stop Doing” list and Tom Peters calls them “To-Don’ts” lists.

Are you really focusing your time on what is important and learning the very necessary discipline of stopping doing what is not important?