The Two Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to be Productive

Your present cannot in any way impact your past, but your past can—and will—impact your future.

Nothing you do today is going to change your past. Our perception of time flows only in one direction. There is an old saying that we are “too soon old and too late wise.” There is no way to reclaim lost time or relive a moment in time where you made a decision you now want to take back. The past is immutable.

What you do today can and will impact your future. A few minutes from now, reading this post will be part of your past (whether or not it affects your future will be determined by your decision to act on what you learn or your hitting the delete button and hoping the idea fades away quickly). This concept is why I am full hot on the concept of Future You and Present You.

We only perceive time as the present moment. It is always “now,” and “now” is forever fading further into your past. Present You is the result of your history, events large and small, significant and insignificant. If Present You wants something you don’t have, you have to do something now so that it manifests in your future. What you are doing now is creating Future You, for good or for ill, making the best strategy for being more, doing more, having more, and contributing more is to allow Future You to decide what Present You does now.

What Do You Want?

Your single, finite, non-renewable resource is time. There is an abundance of other resources available to you, many of them renewable, like your energy level and money (both of which we perceive as being scarce when they are abundant). Your time is not renewable, and once spent, it is gone forever. That being true, all you have is time.

There are two questions you need to ask and answer. The first question is: “What do you want?” I have seen statistics that suggest almost no one has written goals or a plan for their (one) life. Without knowing what you want in the future, it is easy for Present You to make poor decisions about the future towards which you are most certainly racing. You need to define what Future You is going to want, not what Present You wants.

The second question you need to answer is: “What should I be doing with my time now?” You will have a higher resolution focus by answering the first question before answering the second.

Filed under: Productivity

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