A friend of mine went to his first TED conference this year and told me there was a particular question he was asked most often as he met new people. Rather than ask, “What do you do?”, TED attendees are expectedly more curious and full of intrigue.
So they ask, “What are you doing?”
They don’t mean the little thing you’re doing right at that moment but rather the projects and initiatives you’re leading, collaborating on, or otherwise involved with. What a brilliant yet simple substitute for boring ice-breaker questions!
But beyond that, I also thought that it’s a question we should ask of ourselves on a regular basis. The answer tells us how we’re using our time, how we’re moving our businesses and lives forward, and how we’re innovating. It tells us whether our head is buried in the sand, if we are indeed collaborators, and whether we’re engaged in anything strategic.
Quite simply, it tells us if we’re working on our business or in it. It tells us if we’re working on our life or just living it. And those are things we all struggle with periodically.
So answer the question right now: What are you doing?