Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You can't delegate thinking.................

     Mental models help us by providing a scaffold for the torrent of information that constantly surrounds us.  Models help us choose where to direct our attention, so we can make decisions, rather than just react...

     So what is the solution?  If you want to do a better job of paying attention to what really matters, of not getting overwhelmed and distracted by the constant flow of emails and conversations and interruptions that are part of every day, of knowing where to focus and what to ignore, get into the habit of telling yourself stories.  Narrate your life as it's occurring, and then when your boss suddenly asks a question or an urgent note arrives and you only have minutes to reply, the spotlight inside your head will be ready to shine the right way,
     To become genuinely productive, we must take control of our attention; we must build mental models that put us firmly in charge.  When you're driving to work, force yourself to envision your day.  While you're sitting in a meeting or at lunch, describe to yourself what you are seeing and what it means.  Find other people to hear your theories and challenge them.  Get in a pattern of forcing yourself to anticipate what's next.  If you are a parent, anticipate what your children will say at the dinner table.  Then  you'll notice what goes unmentioned or if there's a stray comment that you should see as a warning sign.
     "You can't delegate thinking," de Crespigny told me.  "Computers fail, checklists fail, everything can fail.  But people can't.  We have to make decisions, and that includes deciding what deserves our attention.  The key is forcing yourself to think.  As long as you're thinking, you're halfway home."

-Charles Duhigg,   Faster Smarter Better:  The Secret of Being Productive in Life and Business

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