Next time you are about to begin a task—just sit there, and think for a moment.
It might seem counterintuitive, especially when you have 10 more tasks to go and it’s already 4:32 pm.
But just sit.
You owe it to yourself to try to lower your cognitive load, which started to increase the moment you woke up. When you saw 18 new emails, nine new tweets, and five new Snapchats.
Information overload is a reality, but it doesn’t have to be your reality.
All this information and, suddenly, there’s no time to think anymore. Work has become very transactional. Tasks are completed. More are added. The cycle continually repeats.
Progress isn’t crossing an item off a to-do list. It’s all the work that leads up to crossing it off.
Most seem to be in this bizarre zero-sum game, where they complete as much as possible—as fast as they can—dumping tasks on others all along the way. It’s expensive to continue this way.
Quality, creativity, and pride in your work all suffer when you don’t ask why.
So you should!
Next time you look at your to-do list, instead of picking one to do, pick one, sit there, and think.