Sunday, July 02, 2006

"I Have Decided"

A neat trick from Lakein for when you're feeling stuck on a project: take
out a piece of paper and write "I Have Decided" at the top, and then for
the next 10 minutes or so continuously list decisions about the project.
These could be anything, from when you're going to start, to how you're
going to tackle a particular part, even when and how you're going to make
a decision. Especially useful are decisions about what you're *not* going
to do: I'm going to leave this stuff out, I'll gloss over that.

I'm often amazed how much of the stuckness in something came only from
having unconsciously avoided making certain decisions. Another reason this
works, I think, is that jobs feel arduous when they requires switching
mental modes. Oddly enough, "making decisions" seems to be a mode of
its own. When you're in that groove, making a bunch of decisions in a row
is surprisingly easy, even pleasant.

Here's some examples from a speech for Toastmasters I've been working on:

I Have Decided:
* That I will give it before the end of the summer
* I will choose at most 4 of the best topics to talk about
* I will do only light research, using the internet (and textbooks)
* That each of the parts can be worked on independently, and the
transitions between the parts will come to me as I write

No comments: