Problem Solving Category Archive

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 […]

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 […]

The Truth About Piracy

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

After posting the recent article on Copyright and Intellectual Property, I expected someone would question whether the whole notion of copyrights is fear-based.  Sure enough someone did.  It’s a very good question — is the whole notion of intellectual property inherently rooted in fear and scarcity thinking?  Should we feel free to pirate whatever we desire?  Or is […]

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, […]

Confessions of an A-List Blogger

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Since I receive many questions about this topic, I thought it would be fun to share a candid insider’s look at the reality of being an A-list blogger.  These are my personal observations, so I’m not saying they’re true of other high-traffic bloggers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these patterns held up.  While I normally […]

Testing to Failure

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Testing ideas through direct experience is among the best ways to learn and grow.  If you want to know if an idea really has merit, test it under real-world conditions.  Then you’ll have your answer. For example, suppose you want to ask someone out for a date.  One simple test would be to go right up to the person […]