Am I Wasting My Time?

Q: I often wonder about the worth and payoff of some of the things I do in my business. It’s not always easy to tell if I’m spending time in a long-range worthwhile activity or not. What’s the best way to tell if what I’m doing in any given area is something I should continue to do or not?

A: What we’re dealing with is the establishment and continuation of habitual activity. In general, upwards of 90% of what we do is determined by our daily, weekly, etc. habits. Successful, happy people have habits that are life enhancing and highly productive. Unsuccessful, unhappy people, have habits that hurt them and hold them back.

One of the most powerful personal habits you can develop is the practice of what’s called Zero-Based Thinking. This is realized by regularly asking yourself this question:

“Is there anything in my life that, knowing what I now know, I would NOT get into again today if I had it to do over?

Have you invested time, energy, emotions or money in any relationship – personal or business – to which you would NOT commit today, knowing what you now know? If you answer “YES” to any such question, there automatically follows another very important question: Why are you still involved in the relationship? Why do you still sell the product or service? Why do you keep that employee? Why do you still follow this process? And so on.

This practice of Zero-Based Thinking and taking appropriate action requires courage and commitment. You must be brutally honest in your self-assessment. And you must be resolute in your determination to change. Begin now and make it a habit to regularly ask yourself the above question and carefully examine those activities or elements that give rise to a “yes” response then take the appropriate steps to eliminate wasted time and begin positive activities more in line with bringing you greater success.

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