When you are doing something, especially something you do over and over again, do you ask yourself the question: Is there a point in doing this? I sure do. I ask myself this question at work and at home on tasks that either take up a lot of my time, are for other people, or just seems like a burden. I find we do things 1) because this is what we’ve always been doing, so why change it? 2) someone else suggested it, so we assume it’s effective 3) effectiveness has not been measured, so we assume it works, and/or 4) this question has never been asked because we unconsciously do the task. I have a few examples to illustrate my point. First example: In a former job of mine, the development director shared that she sent out solicitation letters annually. To process all the letters, prepare them for mailing, and waiting to hear back took a lot of time compared to her other solicitation-related tasks. I asked her if the letters brought in a significant amount of money for the effort her and her staff put in. She said she didn’t know how much they actually received from the letters because the money that rolled in didn’t necessary say what encouraged the donor to send it. So it made me wonder, what’s the point in doing what you do? Second example: We are having guests over for dinner this evening. On default, I want to make a tasty meal from scratch. The reality is, I can’t, especially if Zane is uber needy. I can give in to making an easy, decent meal or I can put forth a lot of effort to fulfill my default tendency. But then, I must ask myself the question, what’s the point in doing what I do? Will my guests know how much effort went into the meal? Would anyone care? Isn’t the point to get together and learn more about each other versus having a meal from scratch? Last example: The coordinator of the event I attended last night shared that she made the table favors. I’m guessing it took her a bit of time… What I noticed though was that no one at our table made a comment about it, nor did they take one (it was full of candy). I felt bad because was there a point in doing what she did?
Do you ask yourself this question or a similar one?