Last winter I got a surprise. I saw for myself that some people are deeply motivated by a desire for destruction, as opposed to a desire to gain values. Perhaps I have led a sheltered life, or maybe I accept the people I meet at face value. But I took for granted that everyone I […]

When you set priorities for the day, you accept a risk. If you do not finish those tasks today, for whatever reason, you will have negative feelings at the end of the day. At a minimum, you will feel sad, just from the failure to meet your own expectations. If interruptions and factors outside of […]

A deluxe member of the Thinking Lab asked me to clarify how I reduce the size of my lists: “I was struck by your lists never having more than 7 things on them. This seems self-evident and also incomprehensible to me. What about stuff that you’re not sure about that you don’t want to lose […]

Weekly planning is critical if you want to make progress on longer-term goals. On the positive side, a weekly planning session helps you clarify your top values. It gives you a chance to celebrate your successes for the week. It is the time when you set meaningful goals. And it is an opportunity to address […]

As most of you know, I’m a thinker. I like to understand issues thoroughly before I act. I am happy to consider possibilities, work out consequences, and introspect my emotional reactions before jumping into action. However, I have learned the hard way that if I want to get critical work done, I need to be […]

I encourage members of the Thinking Lab to send me their “thinking on paper” so I can help them sort out any problems they are having. It is amazing how easily you can diagnose thinking problems in another person if you see the thinking written out. As with everything, it is much easier to evaluate […]

I recently read Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. This is a good book, which I recommend. I agree with 98% of what he says, and I have on my agenda to re-read it. My goal will be milk a little more of the wisdom out of it. I was handicapped on […]

When you make a marketing plan, or a 5-year strategic plan, or even just a plan to complete a complex project, you sometimes don’t know much. You know what you wish would happen. You know some things you need to do so you can make that happen. Everything else is hypothetical. The first time you […]

It’s simple. “I need to manage my time” is a euphemism for “I am choosing not to spend time on important stuff.” Sometimes the “important stuff” is work. Sometimes it’s rest or recreation or relationships. But if you’re dissatisfied with how you spend your time, your choices are not matching your own assessment of what’s […]

A friend of mine once told me that she hated doing housecleaning. Rather than make herself clean on a schedule, she would clean only when she felt disgusted by something dirty. That would give her the motivation to clean up that area. This method worked for her for housecleaning, but it doesn’t work as a […]

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