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Four Quick Ideas for Thinking about Work

Works in Progress In honor of this week’s four-day publication schedule, here are four simple strategies for thinking about your work and commitments. This will be shocking news, I know, but it turns out that a little mindfulness pays off:

  • David Allen explains that the fact that you’ve noticed a task doesn’t compel you to do it. It lets you make a decision about it: You don’t have to finish something to be free of it. You simply need to decide what it means to you, park the outcomes and actions in the appropriate places that you trust will be reviewed at the right time… and you’re free.
  • Merlin Mann, as transcribed by Eddie Smith, explains why we should think more about opportunity-cost: You don’t want to obsess so much over opportunity cost that you’re always calculating fake money, but at the same time, every time you agree to do something, you tacitly agree not to do ten thousand other things.
  • A useful job interview tip? Lifehacker’s Adam Dachis recommends that, in order to feel calmer about a new situation, imagine yourself as an expert: But if you want to avoid getting flustered, you want to look at how an expert would handle your situation and see if there’s a way you can adapt their approach to your circumstances. Even if you don’t come up with anything all that great, you end up psychologically normalizing your inflated concerns so you’re not thrown for a loop when something unexpected happens.
  • Finally, if you are unhappy with how your summer’s going, Laura Schlukebier recommends changing the shape of your day: You’ve probably also adjusted to your new summer schedule so it’s now just another routine. Sometimes when we fall into a routine, however, we can get complacent. The routine may not be scheduled to bring out our most productive ability.

Do you have strategies for thinking more clearly about your work? Please share in the comments!

Photo by Flickr user koalazymonkey / Creative Commons licensed

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