The Common Sense Blog

15
Oct

Working Through Decision Discomfort

For the past 30 years, I have been asking people to tell me exactly why they’re working the career they’re in. Most times, they’ll chuckle and want to tell me a story about how one thing led to another. Roke (ro-key) is one of those people. Last week, my furnace needed fixing and Roke arrived to make the repairs. As

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7
Oct

Decisions Don’t Have Answers – They Have Outcomes

It has become very easy to presume that there must be an answer out there for every decision. Maybe you can find it on Google. Perhaps there’s a video explaining it on YouTube. If nothing else launch a Facebook survey. Those people will tell you what to do. Effective decision makers, however, have learned that decisions don’t have right and

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25
Sep

We Don’t Extinguish Bad Habits

How many times have you started a sentence with the words, “I’ve got to stop . . . ”? Whether it’s checking social media ten times per hour, eating a big lunch that drains the afternoon’s energy, or binging on Game of Thrones until 2AM, those four words are a sure sign of a bad habit. People spend millions every

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18
Sep

How to Say “No” and Get Away with It

You know the drill. The boss says, “I need you to . . . .” or your team leader informs you that everyone else decided that you’ll be one to . . . “ or maybe a new initiative comes down from above without warning. In every case, you’ve already got too much on your plate. You may feel like

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11
Sep

Five Simple Strategies for Battling Decision Fatigue

With the advent of mobile technology, it has become easy to feel tied to the workplace at all times. Do you clear e-mail waiting for dinner to arrive? Do people ask you to stop texting during the movie? Is everyone passing you on the road because you find it tough to focus on a customer call and drive at the

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4
Sep

Are the Sunday Scaries Contributing to Your Decision Fatigue?

Imagine sitting in front of the football game on a Sunday afternoon, enjoying a beer. You’re looking forward to a peaceful evening before returning to Monday’s pace. Then you get a text from your boss, outlining three “quick” tasks she wants you to complete before the morning meeting. All of a sudden, the remainder of your peaceful weekend has vanished.

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28
Aug

Fill Out Your Own Forms First!

Have you ever become frustrated while completing a form? You might have thought, “What on earth do they mean?” or “I can’t imagine why they need that information,” or “Didn’t they ask that before?” Sadly, too many people fail to place themselves in the position of those who will complete the forms they design. As a result, they alienate customers,

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22
Jul

Overcoming the Tyranny of Choice

We’ve all become spoiled by the number of choices we have. Supermarkets offer more than 60,000 consumer goods in all sizes and shapes. Searching on-line generates thousands of links for even the most obscure topic or item. Artificial intelligence anticipates the words we want to use in a text, the products we want to buy and provides instant directions if

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9
Jul

Are You Satisficing When You Shouldn’t?

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the decisions we need to make could be resolved by selecting an option from a menu? It seems like all of those offering us digital products and services want us to do so. “You don’t need to think anymore,” they say. “Just choose from our menus and we’ll do the rest.” Of course, life

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18
Jun

Do You Squander Your Time in Traffic?

I was driving to a meeting and a young man in a beat-up Honda Accord had spent the last three miles trying to get around me and the other motorists. Every time he got a few cars ahead, he was thwarted by the flow of traffic or stoplight timing. I would pull up right behind him, pull a few cars

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