In these actionable ideas articles, I highlight three ideas that you can convert into immediate action to drive meaningful value in your work and life.
Idea #1: Regret Minimization
Themes: decision making, reflection, introspection
In the fantastic book Thinking In Bets, poker champ turned business consultant Annie Duke states that temporal discounting makes us favor our present self at the expense of our future self, often causing us to make regretful decisions. We can minimize our regrets using the 10-10-10 rule, where we ask ourselves what the consequences of a decision are in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now. By moving regret in front of our decisions, we can act more judiciously.
Action item: for the next decision you make, try applying the 10-10-10 rule. Do you predict that you will experience regret at any of the time intervals?
Idea #2: Next Play Speed
Themes: performance, mental toughness, mindfulness
In sports psychology, next play speed (NPS) is the ability to move onto the next play and let go of your mistakes. The sooner you can move onto the next play unaffected, the better. In this video of Michael Jordan, within the span of three seconds we see him score, get on defense, steal, get stolen, and block his opponent. At its core, this is a foundational mindfulness practice of focusing on the present.
Action item: next time you face a setback, frame it as a previous play that is over. There's nothing you can do about it except learn and move onto the next play. The fact that you lost the ball on the previous play is irrelevant, score at will on the next play.
Idea #3: Progressive Summarization
Themes: knowledge capture, productivity
Make the most of everything you read by parsing out the key points using progressive summarization (PS). In its simplest form, PS is a two-step process: 1) bold the key passages of a text, and then 2) highlight the key parts only within the bolded text. More broadly speaking, it is part of a much bigger, comprehensive productivity system (highly recommend).
Action item: the next time you try to extract knowledge from an article, do a first pass and bold the key items. Then, do a second pass highlighting only the key points in the bolded items.