Imagine a graph with outcomes listed on the vertical axis and your activities listed on the horizontal axis. Your outcomes might include a variety of important business outcomes, errands that need to be accomplished, a better relationship with your children, a better relationship with your spouse or significant other, relaxing time, your relationship with certain friends, staying on top of emails, attending meetings to stay informed, your physical fitness, and other stuff. Then prioritize your desired outcomes both on the work side and on the personal side by ranking them.
Now place a dot for each activity you did in the past week next to the outcome it was meant to impact in a real way. Go through every activity you did and force yourself to place a dot somewhere on the graph.
Repeat this process for three more weeks.
At the end of the month look at where the activities you actually did showed up on your graph. Are you crowding your activities around your most important outcomes, or are the things you are actually doing crowding around low priority outcomes? If you use a scattershot approach, you may feel like you’re tremendously busy, but you’re not moving the needle forward in terms of improved outcomes on any of your most important desired outcomes.
Then decide where to place your activities over the next month. And repeat the process. Did the reality of what you actually did match up with where you want to be placing your activities?