Checklists

Checklists

A checklist must be completed every time you’re going through a repeated process.

Areas where simple checklists can make your life much easier: for a  list of things you need to remember each morning or for a task you repeat every day, week, or even month at work.

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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Decision fatigue

As you make more decisions (especially difficult ones), and as you consider more options, you start to get mentally tired making your subsequent decisions worse and more difficult.

An excess of options will also increase your likelihood to avoid making a decision entirely.

We assume more options will make us happier, but that's not true.

By strategically decreasing the number of decisions we need to make we're making sure we actually choose something, and we can save our decisiveness for when it really counts.

Rules

A rule is a predetermined response to a given situation, a set action for how you’ll handle a common situation so that you don’t waste any time trying to decide between two or more small and unimportant options.

Examples: "I Never answer calls from unrecognized numbers" or "I don’t check email before 10 am, after 7 pm, or on Saturday."

Priorities

They remind you of what you believe you should spend your time on so that even when you’re caught up in momentary excitement you stick to your goals.

They help in dealing with big decisions.

You can create systems to offload decision making. The simplest type of system is a bunch of rules strung together into a chain of good decisions, where each on mandates the next.

For example: Put your workout clothes out at night so that when you wake up you immediately put them on and go running.

If you can completely remove the need to do anything then you’re saving the greatest amount of willpower and decisiveness. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Automate.
  • Silence (your technology, to remove the decision of checking or not checking that message you received).
  • Delegate/Outsource. 

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RELATED IDEAS

The Mental Backflip
  • List all your assumptions about your subject.
  • Reverse each assumption. Consider their opposites.
  • Ask yourself how to accomplish each reversal.

The end result is a new viewpoint you might not have considered otherwise. 

4

IDEAS

 Step away from the problem

Distancing yourself from a problem can help you face it in a more objective way. 

Instead of remaining in your own frame of mind, consider yourself as an outside observer, such as a friend giving advice or a fly on the wall. Removing yourself in this way helps you filter out some of your cognitive biases and lean you toward a more rational decision.

Don't let fear motivate your decision making

And don’t wait for absolute certainty because you’ll almost never get it. One of the ways to overcome this is to have a consistent process for making decisions. 

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