In the past, I’ve talked about the need to identify a unitary goal in order to be more productive. A unitary goal is: ONE thing you are trying to do. You cannot be nimble if you are trying to achieve a twofer (accomplish two things at once) or if you are vague on your goal. […]

There are many ways to categorize your to-do list to help you decide your priorities. David Allen recommends you categorize by type of activity (calls, online work, offline computer work, errands, etc.). Then, when you are looking for the next thing to do, you can immediately look at the items that you can do in […]

In this newsletter I am continuing my campaign to end the battle between reason and emotion. I’d like to address another facet of that battle: the problem of bizarre, intense emotions. First a story, then the explanation. Some years ago, I held a small monthly discussion group for an association I belonged to. The discussions […]

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 […]

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