That simple question proves increasingly difficult with too little time and many competing priorities. I find it challenging to weigh choices based on their merit. How can you mentally equate things like an hour spent on a bike ride, getting caught up on work email, or relaxing with a new book? I keep big lists in Google docs of priorities in various areas, as well as priorities across those lists. In any given free hour, I have at least five priority candidates, and 50 that are possibilities.
What seems to work rather well is visualizing myself at the end of the day having done the various choices. How do I feel then? Toggle back and forth like the eye doctor – better, worse? Went for a ride, didn’t go. The same works for bigger things like career decisions. Thorough evaluation is hard. Visualizing how I’d feel in the new position is more approachable. I already do this a lot for food and drink. Cake tastes great anytime but it generally makes me feel worse after. Beer is great anytime but makes me feel slow unless it’s after some physical activity.
I’m considering banning the questions “what should I do?” and “what do I want to do?” from my internal dialogue. Replaced by “how would I feel if I did?”. An experiment. I’ll try to do nothing without asking that question. Even writing blog posts.