Polyentrepreneurs don’t just have full plates; they have plates piled high enough that others around them shake their heads while giving an appreciative (or disappointed) “daaaaaaaaaaaang.” And while we wouldn’t have it any other way – most of us can only be productive if we’re working on five projects at once – it can be a bit of a struggle to keep up with everything.
One of the best tools I have to keep the plate from spilling all over the floor is a simple question: “Is this the best use of my time?”
I try to ask myself this throughout my day.
“Is scrolling through Facebook again the best use of my time?”
“Is flipping through the newspaper trying to interest myself in articles I didn’t read the first time the best use of my time?”
“Is continuing to practice this song that is frustrating me the best use of my time?”
Note that this question doesn’t just apply to obvious time-wasters; it also applies to work being done in the wrong order or with the wrong mood. Also, realize that “best use of my time” doesn’t always have to mean “work;” when you’re frustrated by a project or at the end of a long day sometimes watching TV or playing computer games really is the best thing for you to do.
For the next couple of days, try asking yourself “is this the best use of my time?” as frequently as you remember to. Write the question on a note near your computer, put it on your to-do list, even set alarms on your phone to remind yourself. If the answer is “yes,” then good job! If the answer is “no,” take immediate steps to turn the answer into a yes – switch projects, close the internet window, or go take a walk.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!