5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Good morning, friends! The semester is winding down and I am off to West Virginia next week for a summer’s worth of post-graduate research. At the start of my master’s program, my advisor asked me a couple of thoughtful questions. I added to his list because knowing the answers to these questions radically impacts my creativity and productivity.

These questions can be asked for any season of your life:

  1. What is it you actually want to do?
  2. When is your most creative/productive time of day?
  3. What are you doing to keep yourself healthy (spiritually,mentally, and physically)?
  4. What are you doing for fun?
  5. What is keeping you from the goal that’s been on your list for ages?

Question 1: it is easy to get on a track which initially appeared to be the right one, but after a time is not what you thought or what you wanted. This question moved me from my career as a specialty pharmaceutical representative to working in the energy industry. Getting a train to jump tracks is not easy. Life is too short. Switch tracks.

Question 2: my most creative time is in the morning from about 7 am to 11 am. I routinely block this time for research, writing and problem solving. The only interruptions would be a class or on rare occasion a meeting. Keep your most creative time sacred. Read Keller and Papasan’s “One Thing.”

Question 3: attending to your spiritual, mental and physical well being matters every day. My morning routine – (let dogs out and start coffee) then bible study, prayer time, read a book for 30-45 minutes and exercise. During this season of my life I alternate lifting at home and walking. No matter what happens during the rest of my day, I started it off right.

Question 4: Fun matters! “You can’t take life too seriously or you’ll never get out alive” -Van Wilder. Watching TV does not count. Visiting with friends, playing with pets, playing music, doing anything creative or active counts. Be intense, but have fun.

Question 5: I modified this question from Bill Phillips’ book Body for Life, “what is keeping you from working out?” I made a list of everything standing in my way for setting aside time to research, time to work out, and time with my sweetie. These items ended up on my Gulp List. The tasks get done without hijacking my day.

What is keeping you from …?

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