My favorite question to ask

These days I don’t have a lot of structure between 9am and 4pm. I don’t go into an office anymore. I don’t report to anyone. I’m running a nice little business now with no partners and no investors.

At any given point in that 9–4 window I can pretty much do whatever I want because my business doesn’t rely on me. I can ignore it for a day or even a week and it’ll still make money.

This presents a new, unusual challenge: what am I supposed to do?

I’ve begun asking myself a new question: What would be most fulfilling to do right now?

Fulfillment comes in many forms. There’s a leisurely fulfillment, like when I just want to sit in my hammock and watch an hour-long episode of The Sopranos.

There’s also a stress-reduction fulfillment, usually related to a bug that’s bothering some Toofr users, and I know it’s going to open a wormhole, so I keep pushing it off. I summon the power to tackle it by reminding myself how good it will feel to fix it and put that buzz in my head to rest.

Then there’s the enrichment fulfillment, which I wrote about here. Per that last tip, I will spend some time reading, playing, or writing (not work-related writing) and not feel guilty about it.

If I can give myself the mental space to ask myself this question every day, I think not only will I be happier, but my business will be better off too. I find that when I return from a fulfillment activity, even if it’s work-related, it’s really gratifying.

I was in control for that moment, directed my attention towards something, and completed it.

These small victories add up.

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