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?