Chris Brogan wrote a great post on using questions to stay on target.
Here’s one I use all the time:
Will this (whatever it is) contribute to, or complicate, my goals?
Yes, that’s very close to Dr. Phil’s “contribute or contaminate” dichotomy, but I don’t like the implied judgment of that. It’s already too easy for us to fall into the trap of self-judgment, to see what we do in terms of “good” or “bad.”
But it isn’t about morals, it’s about actions. And what we do either means more work now (contributing to our goals) or more work later (complicating them). Either way, we have hard work to do. The question is, when?
So: contribute, or complicate? You decide.