What will or what could've been

Looking back I can spot right away the moments when I did work that seemed important at the time, but now it’s obvious I was hiding from the things I should be doing.
In hindsight everything looks easy and obvious, but back then, who would’ve guess that I was off-track? Or that I would waste half a year of my life? Well, you could’ve.
In order to spot those situations, asking yourself this question might save you from a long slog:

If I look forward five or 10 years, is this thing I’m doing make a difference? Will this help me to move things forward?

If the answer is a no, or a so-so, stop what you’re doing and rethink it for a second. Of course sometimes you’ve got to do things you don’t want, but the discipline is to focus on making more of the things that’ll have the biggest impact.
Too often what happens is that we hide from the real work–the hard work. So asking yourself this hard question is your best reality check. Who knows, maybe you’ve just saved a year of your life.