Planning Category Archive

How to Create a Personal Productivity Scaffold

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

A scaffold is a temporary structure that supports tools, materials, and people while erecting or repairing a building.  A similar construct can be used to improve your personal productivity.  Much like wearing braces to reposition crooked teeth, a personal productivity scaffold is something you temporarily insert into your daily routine to help create and establish new habits.  Once those habits are conditioned, […]

Microtasks

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Sometimes we procrastinate on projects because we don’t know where to begin.  A goal like “write a book” might seem straightforward enough when first set, but when it’s time to act, the goal becomes this huge, amorphous blob.  Procrastination soon follows. A popular suggestion is to define the immediate next action that must be taken, and then focus on […]

Journaling

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Journaling is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to accelerate your personal development.  By getting your thoughts out of your head and putting them down in writing, you gain insights you’d otherwise never see. Beyond sequential thinking While your brain is technically capable of processing a great deal of input simultaneously, your conscious thoughts […]

How to Make Smart Decisions in Less Than 60 Seconds

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Sometimes we face tough decisions that involve one or more unknowns.  We can’t know in advance what the consequences of each alternative will be.  This is especially true of big decisions like quitting a job, entering or exiting a relationship, or moving to a new city. When faced with such a decision, what do you do?  If you […]

Making Time for the Important

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Too often our important-but-not-urgent tasks get put on the back burner… and never make it to the front burner.  When you get busy with urgent tasks, you may feel pressured to finish those first before you can justify doing anything less urgent.  But then when you finally catch a break, you may decide you need […]

10 Weaknesses of Human Intelligence

Monday, June 25th, 2007

In the previous article on How Your Mind Really Works, we explored the key strengths of human intelligence, such as our ability to identify invariant patterns and to recognize specific instances of them.  But these strengths don’t come without major drawbacks.  The human mind certainly has its share of weaknesses, gaps, and blind spots. It’s wise to cultivate […]

How Your Mind Really Works

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

How is it that your mind is capable of handling new situations you’ve never previously encountered?  How do you solve a problem you’ve never solved before?  Is this just the magic of consciousness, or is there an underlying process — or algorithm — your mind uses behind the scenes to deal with the unique experiences you encounter each […]

Copyright and Intellectual Property

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

As a blogger and a former software developer, I must frequently deal with copyright issues.  For most of my adult life, intellectual property has been my primary source of livelihood and remains so to this day.  While some people take issue with the concept of intellectual property and believe that all content should be free, I don’t count […]

How to Prioritize

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Virtually every time management system teaches that you must prioritize your projects to make sure you’re working on what’s truly important instead of getting caught up in minor things.  However, few systems explain precisely how to do this.  How do you decide which task is really the most important at any given time?  Is it the one that’s most urgent, […]

33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity – Volume 3

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Here’s the third installment of 33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity (see Volume 1 and Volume 2). These are a bit sillier and less politically correct than the first two volumes — I had to stretch to come up with more ideas — but many are still valid in certain situations.  Just be sure to take them with a […]