What Should I Do Right Now?

by Francisco Saez

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Pursuit of Mastery.

September 10, 2012

Imagine that, in a given moment of your day, you find an unexpected gift of 30 free minutes. What will you do with this time? What should you do? There are some variables that come into play when you are choosing what is the best thing you can do at any particular moment during your day. Ideally, all these variables would be somehow assimilated by your subconscious, so that when the time comes, you just need to trust your intuition.


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September 10, 2012

Imagine that, in a given moment of your day, you find an unexpected gift of 30 free minutes. What will you do with this time? What should you do? There are some variables that come into play when you are choosing what is the best thing you can do at any particular moment during your day. Ideally, all these variables would be somehow assimilated by your subconscious, so that when the time comes, you just need to trust your intuition.

That does not mean, though, that simply anything goes. It means that if you have in your mind a clear structure of your medium- and long-term objectives, and all your current actions are well organized, then trusting your intuition will be fine most of the time, because all the variables needed to make the best choice would already be embedded in your mind and your lifestyle.

As David Allen explains in his book “Ready for anything” you, intuitively, will make your choice on the basis of these considerations, in this order:

  1. The context. The first thing you are asking yourself is what can I do at this moment? Depending on where you are and what your available tools are, you will be able to do certain things. If you have that 30 minute window in your office, you can deal with those pending emails or prepare that report for your client. If you are on the street, you could pick up your suit at the dry cleaning or just sit in a café, open your notebook and design the features of a new product.
  2. The type of work you must do. Sometimes you just want to get things done and check them off your to-do lists. Other times it would be more interesting to clarify the meaning of the new things that have emerged lately, and define what actions arise from them. When your “stuff” inventory is current and well defined you will choose to do the work, and when it is a little outdated you will choose to define the work.
  3. The horizon of your commitment. When your life and your work are calm nad relatively settled your focus will be in the details, in that call you should make or that project you need to complete. If you are in a period of expansion and change, however, your focus will be on a more big-picture type level and you will be more worried about how to reinforce some of your areas of ​​responsibility or how to progress toward a particular goal.
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