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 […]

In order to do what matters most right now, you need to first know what matters most. That is not always obvious. I use a simple test to see if I’ve got it. I ask, are “should” and “want” and “can” aligned for this action? If they are, this is clearly a valuable step to […]

“I need more time.” That is what a client told me was the solution to his grueling work schedule. We say such things without thinking about it, but it’s worth pausing for a moment to focus on the thought. How could the solution possibly be more time? There is no such thing as getting more […]

It’s easy to fall into a counterproductive pattern. Perhaps you often check email before settling down to work–and then reading the email wipes out your morning work time. Or three days in a row you put off an important call until the afternoon–then forget to make it until it is too late to call. Looking […]

It’s easier to think at your desk than on your feet. Knowing this, you can make it easier to follow through on your own good intentions. Good intentions often fail when “something” comes up. For example, you intend to exercise at lunch, but then at 11:45 you see you won’t finish what you’re doing in […]

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