Decision Making
Four Ways to Act in the Face of Conflict

Four Ways to Act in the Face of Conflict

Whenever we experience a conflict, it can be difficult to figure out how to move forward. On the one hand, it is never right to mindlessly suppress what you think is “emotion” and go by “reason.” On the other hand, it is never right to mindlessly go by “emotion” and...

How to Be Decisive to Avoid Churn

How to Be Decisive to Avoid Churn

One of the problems of having many projects at once is that there's a tendency to churn — to work a little on one, then a little on another, without making good progress on any. The general solution is to prioritize: to choose one project (or one chunk of a project)...

How to Take Advantage of Low-Quality Time

How to Take Advantage of Low-Quality Time

To concentrate on a mentally demanding task, you typically need at least one full hour of free time when you can ignore everything and everyone else. At that time, you focus all of your energy on that one task. I teach many tactics for concentrating effectively during...

The Criteria For Choosing One Thing to Do

The Criteria For Choosing One Thing to Do

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...

What’s So Hard About Planning Projects?

What’s So Hard About Planning Projects?

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...

How do you know what matters most?

How do you know what matters most?

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...

Find Yourself Digressing? Take a Quick Timeout

Find Yourself Digressing? Take a Quick Timeout

It happens to the best of us. You sit down to work on your top project, but soon you find yourself thinking about how to respond to a contentious email. Or after a solid hour's work, you step out for a quick break and get waylaid by a co-worker who "just needs five...

How a Decision Log Can Help You Move from Scattered to Focused

How a Decision Log Can Help You Move from Scattered to Focused

Don't be embarrassed if you occasionally feel scattered. It's a normal transition state. For example, after you've finished a major project, you may feel somewhat scattered until you've figured out the next big thing to focus on. But don't let yourself remain feeling...

Three Signs You Need to Check Your Premises

Three Signs You Need to Check Your Premises

Ayn Rand coined the catch phrase: "Check your premises." A premise is a past conclusion that supports your present thinking. Her point was that if you arrive at a contradiction in the present, there is an error somewhere in your past conclusions. You need to find that...

Best Practices make Best Decisions Possible

Best Practices make Best Decisions Possible

Often people judge a decision by its results. When they don't like the way the decision turned out, they conclude they must have made a bad decision. But that doesn't follow. When you make a decision, you make it in a very specific context. You choose between...

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