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Showing posts from 2018

About that quote: "Ask What Needs to be Done"

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Every mentor at Startup Weekend Stockholm is invited to provide a quote for the Instagram event campaign. For the February 2018 Foodtech event I chose a thought that I had just tweeted when I was asked -- an idea that I have found very useful for solving difficult problems.

Never ask if something can be done; ask instead what needs to be done to make it happen. This apparently simple change of perspective is surprisingly effective because it reframes the question from one about possibility to actually finding solutions. When you ask yourself or other people if something is possible you allow the possibility that it is not. By asking how it could be done you concentrate all your efforts on finding some sort of solution.

Once you have taken away the option of simply walking away from the problem people tend to get much more creative in finding solutions. Perhaps you have to redefine the problem, or perhaps you need to adapt your expectations. But when there is no option to just walk awa…

How To Do Lists Give You Peaceful Nights and Weekends

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Every working week usually ends for me by writing a "to do" list for the work to be done the next week, or at least Monday. I do this partly so that I don't forget the work in progress, or the highest priorities, but it also has the useful side effect of making the weekend more relaxing. This offloading of the work still to be one onto paper or a file appears to lighten the load on your mind, since you know the list is safely written down and you don't need to keep thinking about it.

How you do this mental offloading step doesn't seem to make any difference. At my own desk I tend to use a paper list and when I am travelling I often use an email to myself. Once the list is safely written you can mentally "close the office" for the weekend without being stressed by all the work still to be done. It has always worked for me, though I don't recall seeing any serious research to back it up.

But now there is some experimental evidence that indirectly sup…