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6 Reasons You Keep Making Decisions That Work Against You

Not using our time well

Instead of immediately focusing on email, meetings, and other activities, we would be better off spending the morning doing productive work that requires a higher cognitive capacity (thinking, planning, calculating, for example), and delaying the tasks that don’t require as much mental energy to the hours when our capacity is diminished.

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6 Reasons You Keep Making Decisions That Work Against You

6 Reasons You Keep Making Decisions That Work Against You

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-reasons-you-keep-making-decisions-that-work-against-you

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

Not using our time well

Instead of immediately focusing on email, meetings, and other activities, we would be better off spending the morning doing productive work that requires a higher cognitive capacity (thinking, planning, calculating, for example), and delaying the tasks that don’t require as much mental energy to the hours when our capacity is diminished.

We seek immediate rewards

Unlike small, unimportant tasks, the challenge with our most important tasks is that our efforts aren’t immediately rewarded with visible progress.

The key to success here is to break down the big rocks into smaller milestones so that you can feel a sense of progress.

Waiting for inspiration

... is a common excuse we tell ourselves to avoid difficult tasks.

Set aside time, jump in and get done what you can. The best step we can take is to simply make a plan and start. 

Structured procrastination

We engage in tasks that give us the sense we’re achieving something when in fact we’re not.

If you feel the need to get those small things done, get to them only after you have made real progress on an important task first.

Choosing the wrong things

Our most important tasks often don’t find their ways to our calendar. 

Our calendars show us mostly meetings, and the time needed for important stuff is usually the empty space between meetings. But when we see the empty time, we think that we have extra time and we add more meetings.

Overwhelming to-do lists

With a long, overwhelming list of to-do items, it becomes more tempting to tackle the small, easy things in order to make visible progress.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping a to-do list, but we need to make sure that the joy of erasing things from our to-do list is not shifting the way we spend our time.

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A one size fits all solution

Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you. 

For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.

Less anxiety

Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life. 

In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.

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The weekly review

It’s dedicated time to think about the past week, reflect on what went well and what didn’t, and plan for the week ahead. 

It’s a chance to get aligned with your goals and ensure ...

The 3 parts of a weekly review
  • Get Clear: process all your loose-ends.
  • Get Current: make sure all your items are up to date.
  • Get Creative: come up with new ideas to improve how you live and work.
Benefits of weekly reviews
  • You gain an objective view of the week: a weekly review forces you to practice intention by taking time to pause and reflect as you consider what you did versus what you planned to do.
  • You become proactive in planning: a weekly review isn’t only a retrospective, but a prospective too. It lets you run through the upcoming Monday to Friday proactively.

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Think of Yourself Less

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.  - CS Lewis

Self-esteem that is bound to external success can lead to small spurts of happiness but is no...

Be Busy, but Not Rushed

Research shows that feeling “rushed” is a one-way street to stress and unhappiness. Too much boredom can be burdensome. 

To find a balance, learn to say "no" to opportunities that do not excite you.

Be Proactive About Your Relationships

Do:

  • Check-in regularly with good friends (around 2 weeks for very close friends).
  • Celebrate the good things in their life; let them know through active and constructive listening. 
  • Studies show people love hearing themselves talk and talking about themselves, so let them.

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