Frenzy is one of the major obstacles preventing people from leading engaged, happy, and fulfilled lives personally and professionally. Between our increased workloads and the constant access we have to one another thanks to technology, we’re too busy to really connect in meaningful ways or take care of ourselves. As a result, we don’t listen intently, pay attention to our peers, (genuinely) smile at our customers, or find the right kind of support.

During Inspired Work’s leadership and engagement programs, we give participants a customized series of questions to answer at the beginning of every day. When people answer these questions, they start to find a greater sense of mission, vision, and purpose. The value of using these open-ended questions is they leave room for our own creativity and truth to step forward. This is why these questions are far more powerful than simple checklists – one of the frenzy traps for mid-managers.

Here are a few example questions:

  1. What is today’s ideal blend of strategic and tactical work?
  2. Who needs my attention, support, and praise?
  3. How can I best market my ideas? Initiatives? Agenda?
  4. How can I best take care of myself?
  5. What is the biggest problem I am ready to solve?
  6. How can I best expand my support system, inside and outside of the organization?

When we consider our workday in the light of these questions, we can clarify for ourselves what is truly important and valuable in the day ahead. We become less likely to get caught up in the minutiae and more ready to articulate boundaries where necessary.

Every workplace brings its own unique needs to the self-inquiry process. If you find yourself regularly overwhelmed, try answering these questions. It is one of the simplest ways to develop a stronger discipline in how you spend your time at work.

David Harder is the founder of Inspired Work.

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