Many of us are overcommitted or feel pressure to spend time on distracting, unproductive things, such as time-sucking meetings or business lunches. Francisco Dao writes on Pando Daily that asking yourself "Why would I do that?" before committing to anything could be the ultimate productivity tool.
The technique could apply to all sorts of things, from taking on a new project or trying a new app to getting a pet:
Every time I see a new email management tool, I think to myself, "Why the f*** don't people just unsubscribe from lists they don't read?" Isn't cleaning up the mess, better than reorganising it?
When someone says "Let's schedule a conference call" which you know will be useless and horrible because all conference calls are useless and horrible, just ask them "Why the f*** would we do that?" Voila! No conference call.
By applying the "Why the f*** would I do that?" technique to people you're dealing with, you can even save them time, which ultimately will make you more effective. For example, before you email Sarah that press release, announcing that your underwear delivery company now offers boxers, ask yourself, "Why the f*** would Sarah cover this stupid s***?" If you're being honest, you'll realise that she wouldn't, and then you don't have to bother her. Later when you have a legitimate reason for contacting her, she'll probably be more receptive.
The key, Dao says, is to be honest with yourself when you ask that question and try to come up with legitimate answers. That one question could help you streamline your life and clear away unnecessary obligations, adding more time for the more important stuff.
The Ultimate Productivity Tool [Pando Daily]