7-step method to approach any new task

I’m reading Master Your Thinking: A Practical Guide to Align Yourself with Reality and Achieve Tangible Results in the Real World. Here are seven questions to ask before you begin a task:

  1. Is this task a priority, or could I do it later?
    • If I could do only one thing today, which task would have the most impact?
    • Is this task moving me closer to my main goal?
    • Do I really need to do it right now, or can I do it later?
  2. Is this task valid, or can I forget about it?
    • Do I really need to do this task?
    • Is right now the best time? What would happen if I delay it for a week? A month? Forever?
    • Do I need to do this task, or am I doing it because it makes me feel good? In short, am I working on this task to escape from what I really should be doing?
  3. What does done look like?
    • What exactly do I need to do here?
    • What am I trying to accomplish?
    • What does the finished product look like?
  4. Am I the person to do this task, or can I delegate to someone else?
    • Is this task really worthy of my time?
    • Can someone else do it better than me? If so, can I ask for help?
    • What would happen if I simply remove/postpone this task?
    • Do I enjoy working on this task? Does it motivate me?
  5. What’s the best way to complete this task?
    • What tool(s) can I use, people can I ask, or method can I rely on to complete this task as efficiently and effectively as possible?
    • What skill(s) could I learn or improve to help me complete this task faster in the future?
  6. Can I batch this task with other tasks I need to do?
    • Can I batch this task with other similar tasks to boost my productivity?
  7. Can I automate this task, or create a checklist or template?
    • Can I create templates to reuse every time I work on this or on similar tasks? For instance, you could design templates for the specific emails, presentations or documents you need to create over and over.
    • Can I create a checklist? Checklists provide you with specific steps to follow, making it less likely you will become distracted or confused.