“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The importance of taking small steps is well known. It’s the most likely advice you’ll get if you’re bogging down on something. “Try taking a small step.” And yet, I have often found this advice unhelpful. I’m sure that is partly because I break […]

“Change your smoke detector batteries when you change the clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time. Otherwise you’ll forget.” This little trick suggests a way to help you achieve some of the most important goals you’ll ever set: your lifetime goals. Your lifetime goals are the things you’d like to do, either in the next […]

Mark Murphy has a great short article titled “Don’t Make Constructive Criticism so Soft That People Miss Your Message.” In it, he criticizes the feedback sandwich, which I learned long ago in Toastmasters. It’s simple: when you are giving feedback, first tell something positive, then something to improve, then end with something else positive. This […]

It is not enough to know that washing dishes is a good thing, that it helps you keep a clean kitchen. The dishes won’t wash themselves. The same is true of every mental tool. No matter how long you have used a tool and no matter how convinced you are that it works, you still […]

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve been introduced to “thinking on paper.” If not, you can read about it and get instruction on it with my Smarter Starter Kit. With that as the context, a client sent me this note about “thinking on paper” which he said I could share: Just was […]

In a recent newsletter  I talked about transitioning to “neutral” when I was feeling resistance to doing chores. You can’t get yourself excited to do the chores, but if you can get to neutral, you’ll probably be willing to do it. Then I read a blog post by my friend Sonia Satra, in which she talks […]

When something’s on your mind, talking over the issue with a friend is a real value. A good listener can gently encourage you to untangle your thoughts, without taking over the conversation and/or enforcing his own agenda. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a good listener on call every time you had something you needed to think through? […]

“How did I wind up here again?” We’ve all had the experience: a bad situation keeps repeating itself. Maybe it’s a confrontation with a particular person that keeps coming up and going badly. Maybe it’s the feeling of being overloaded by the administrivia again–even though you cleared it out last week. Maybe it’s seeing a project fizzle to a stop […]

Here’s another blog post from Peter Bregman: Quash Your Bad Habits by Knowing What Triggers Them. He’s a terrific thinker on productivity and execution issues. What I like particularly about this article is that he documents the physical warning signs that Jeff was about to explode: Minute 1: Nick steps to the front of the room (I […]

Imagine that every time you faced a daunting task, you could immediately hit on a way to make it easy and inviting to get started. I bet you can—if you make a “Maybe” list. The problem you have is a blob of overload and uncertainty in your mind. You know too much about how hard […]

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