Always consider how you can optimize.
Seldom are we ever completely happy and satisfied with our routines and habits. If we stop and think about what we are doing, we might find numerous opportunities to improve—we could be more productive, we could enjoy our workouts more, we could tweak our diet so it’s easier to stay on, we could have deeper conversations, and on and on. The first step to optimization is opening ourselves up to thinking about ways to improve, and looking beyond what we happen to be doing at the moment.
Whatever you are doing—sorting your laundry to prepare it for washing, working out at the gym, doing research for your work, etc.—try to place a portion of your attention on the next fifty or 500 times you will perform the same action. Ask yourself whether there is a way you can optimize something now that will make it easier the next time you do it.
For example, Tool 1.7: 🏛️ Getting Things Done contains a discussion of doing weekly reviews with yourself. When you do these reviews, you’ll probably create a weekly checklist of items to go over. To apply the Meta tool here, each week when you review your checklist, take a moment to ask whether this is the best checklist for you, or whether you can tweak it so that, next week, it will work better for you. A lot of the time you won’t find anything to improve but, when you do, the benefit will be worth it.
You’re invited to pick a chapter that you’re interested in, scan the list of tools, and find one that piques your interest. Read it and see if you want to try it out.