SMART goals are not so smart: make a PACT instead

A system without a goal is like a marathon without a finish line. But a system with a bad goal will result in a bad outcome. Traditional goal-setting methods use the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Sounds great for small, short-term goals, but not so much for ambitious, long-term …

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The Eisenhower matrix of prioritisation

Very few decision-making frameworks are as simple and powerful as the Eisenhower matrix. Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States and had an incredibly productive life. Amongst many accomplishments, he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, launched programmes such as DARPA and NASA, …

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Being prepared is overrated: start before you feel ready

Getting ready is fun. Doing research, learning new things, feeling excited about the journey ahead. But whether you’re planning on writing a book, launching a product, or building an exercise routine, getting ready can become a distraction: there is a very fine line between preparation and procrastination. Yes, getting ready is comfortable. But most successful …

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How to set actionable goals

There are only two months left in 2019. Many makers are starting to reflect on their progress so far, step back, and plan for the rest of the year. The most common way is to reflect is to compare their achievements to the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. The …

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Metacognition: how to think about thinking

When you want to learn or build something new, it’s tempting to just get going. Read as much as you can, do some tutorials, work on some related projects. Short-term, this gives you a motivation boost. You feel like you’re making progress. But, after a while, you notice that you’re not progressing as fast as …

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Turning push goals into pull goals

Let’s say you want to become a published author. You have this clear objective you want to achieve, and decide on a game plan to get there. You read about the stories of other authors, you make a list of publishers to reach out to, you think about ways you could get an agent. You …

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Focus on the process: stop thinking and start doing

We often assume that the reason why we struggle to achieve our goals is a lack of knowledge. So we buy self-help books and online courses, hoping that it will get us closer to our objective. But what we often don’t do is practice and focus on the process. As a result, we accumulate a …

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The impact of the shiny toy syndrome

The shiny toy syndrome is characterised by wanting to own the latest toy and getting an intense but temporary sensation of happiness from the ownership, before moving onto something else. This desire to own and use the latest and supposedly greatest is often irrespective of the practical need for it. The shiny toy syndrome doesn’t …

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The 3 components of motivation

Most of us have goals we want to accomplish. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Sometimes it feels easy to get the work done, and sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated and we procrastinate. Fundamentally motivation is the desire to act and move towards a specific goal. It often explains why humans act—or don’t—in a …

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“Keep showing up!” they said: the risks of presenteeism

Everyone has heard about absenteeism, a pattern of absence from an obligation, usually at work, which is often a sign of low morale. Much has been written about the cost of absenteeism, with some journalists calling it The Bottom-Line Killer. For entrepreneurs who don’t have a boss tracking their work hours, absenteeism may simply mean …

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