019: 4 Productivity Questions I Ask Myself Daily [Podcast]

Do you talk to yourself? The truth is we all talk to ourselves on a daily basis more than we think. How you think on a daily basis affects your productivity. If you don’t like what you are saying to yourself, the good news is you can change it.

4 productivity questions I ask myself daily

Self awareness and attention management are so critically important to your ability to get things done. I want to share with you 4 productivity questions I ask myself daily. Before I start my day, I sit down and specifically ask these questions. I then write down anything that comes to mind. I’d like to encourage you to try this out for a few days and see how it works for you.

This is a re-broadcast of a popular podcast episode. I mention using Azendoo as my primary task manager. This was before the release of Evernote task reminders. I now use Evernote to manage my tasks as mentioned in the EverFocus System Course. I still think Azendoo is a great tool.

4 Productivity Questions I Ask Myself Daily


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Each of the 4 questions play a specific role in how I go about my day. Each question comes from the Eisenhower Matrix of time management. If you have every read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, then you might recognize it by the 4 quadrants of time management.

Question 1: What needs to get done TODAY that only I can do? 

This question helps me to focus in my areas of strength. We have all heard of the 80/20 principle. What I write down after asking myself this question shows me the 20% of my work that will give me the 80% of my results. Start your day here and determine to check off everything on your list under this question.

Question 2: What is important that I need to schedule so it will get done?  

Do you have ideas or tasks that you never seem to find time to do? I know I do. The problem is what doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done. Most ideas are tasks or projects with no deadlines.

Since these ideas have “no sense of urgency” you and I will never get to them if we don’t put a deadline on them.

Whatever I write down for this question, I want to have scheduled on my calendar before the end of the day. It may be that I don’t work on that idea until next week, but I do have a deadline on it now.

Question 3: What can I delegate that someone else can do for me?

We all have tasks that we should not be doing. Sometimes the main reason why we shouldn’t be doing it is because it is not in our area of strength. What might take us 4 hours to accomplish could take someone else an hour. You can get back 4 hours of your life by just delegating.

How much is 4 hours worth to you in your business? Ask this question, look over your to do list, and determine to delegate the tasks someone else can do for you.

Question 4: What do I need to avoid doing today?

We all know how easy it can be for us to waste time during our work day. We all have those certain things that rob from our time. In the morning when I ask this question, I write down those things that are the biggest time wasters for me.

They are reminders for me as I go about my day. Also, if I catch myself “killing time” during my work day, I stop what I am doing, write down the name of the distraction, and then get back to work. Awareness is the first key to stop wasting time.

How Can I Put This into Practice?

Regardless of what software or system you currently use for your to do list, you can easily implement this process. Take out a notepad and divide the paper into 4 sections. Label one question with each box. Look over your current to do list and as you ask the 4 questions write down what comes to mind. Now you have an action plan for the day. I challenge you to use these questions for a few days and see if they don’t help you to become more productive.

Question: Do you have any questions you ask yourself in order to stay productive? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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    4 thoughts on “019: 4 Productivity Questions I Ask Myself Daily [Podcast]

    1. Great post Jonathan, almost came as a wake-up call. I blog about productivity and delve my effort into researching it, but occasionally I’ll slip out of sync with myself and my projects and go completely nuts.

      Sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves these questions!

      One thing I really like to ask myself before doing (or not doing) something is, “How will this affect me in the future?”

      Now that future could be months away, or hours later when I regret wasting my time after not doing any work. I suppose you could call it conscious future-though decision making – I also wrote a blog post about the idea in terms of procrastination.

      In regards to the last question – one thing I like to do is set a couple of reminders/notifications on my calendar throughout the day that popup on my screen with the text, “Are you working? Or finding ways to not work.” I think I got this idea from The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, though I can’t exactly remember.


    2. Those are great questions! I’ve found when I time block my tasks the day before, I am so much more productive! If you don’t plan it, it’s just a wish!