I spoke to my friend Ken by phone while he as attending a national conference and asked what he was doing.
“I’m supposed to be in a session right now that won’t teach me anything I haven’t already learned. I’m making another lap around the lazy river. I’ve had a big grin on my face every lap.”
Ken was, in my opinion, making the best use of his time.
You need to know that Ken is one of the most focused and hardest workers I know. He is also one of the most genuine and networked individuals in my city. Hearing my friend share a simple moment of happiness that was rejuvenating meant that he was doing that best thing he could be doing at that time.
In my book Always Win, I wrote about the “good shoulds,” those things you should do not because someone told you or made you but because they the smart things to do.
Unfortunately we’re not always clear about what those things are. It is easy to define “best use” as most profitable and productive, but that limits your true options. We often feel an obligation to be busy and productive when in reality we should recharge our batteries like Ken did.
Ken made best use of his time by taking a much needed break and enjoying himself in the pool.Because he did he was more present with others, more engaged in the rest of the sessions and more open to truly learning.
The way to determine what you should do right now is to ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now?” Consider what you think is right and what feels right. Look at all your options and don’t default to autopilot. Choose intentionally. Maybe you need to go for a walk. Or maybe you need to pay attention to the meeting you are already attending.
Our highest freedom is the freedom to choose. Too often we don’t choose but simply react or acquiesce. Habit might help us get to work by driving a tried and true route, but it won’t help us make better higher order decisions.
What should you do right now? You know best, and that is the best use of your time given your options.
Mark Sanborn is a bestselling author and acclaimed leadership keynote speaker. For more information about his services, visit www.marksanborn.com.