Precommitment Tactics, Hemingway's House, Unconstrained Planning, and More
Bring Ambition Newsletter - August 25, 2022
Hi folks and welcome aboard new subscribers!
The Bring Ambition Newsletter is like having a personal executive coach in your inbox every 2 weeks. You’ll receive 3-5 quick bulletpoints (~3 min. read) related to professional development, peak performance psychology, leadership, productivity, and much more.
As always, if you enjoy the newsletter please share with a friend!
1.) New article
“Productivity Tactics: A Practical Guide to Precommitment.” My latest article explores an underappreciated but highly effective productivity tactic: Precommitment.
Human beings are “imperfectly rational” — we are capable of long-term planning, but prone to change or deviate from our plans. Precommitment is proactively restricting the number of choices available to us to encourage self-control and prevent distraction and impulsivity. We remove potential options, make certain actions more costly or temporarily out of reach, or insulate ourselves from the awareness of other options. This is helpful because the alternative - relying on sheer willpower and discipline alone - is simply unsustainable.
This article explores the technique in more detail and shares 26 practical examples of how to use precommitment to your advantage. If you find the article valuable, please share!
2.) What I’m reading
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I just returned from a trip to Key West and had the pleasure of touring Ernest Hemingway’s home and writing studio. I’ve read his short stories, but the trip inspired me to pick up one of his novels.
“Lifestyles” by Morgan Housel. In this article we learn about the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first round-the-world solo sailing race, and the fates of two diametric competitors.
Secretary Problem (Wiki). Let’s say you have to hire a secretary and have 50 applicants. You interview them one by one in random order. At the end of each interview, you have to make a yes/no hiring decision. Once rejected, an applicant can’t be recalled. You are, obviously, unaware of the quality of unseen applicants. If you reject all applicants until the end, you are stuck with the final interviewee, regardless of their quality. What is the optimal strategy to maximize the probability you select the best applicant? This wiki article explores the “secretary problem” and its elegant solution in more detail.
3.) Quote of the week
"If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back." — Regina Brett
4.) Topic I’m learning more about
Resource Unconstrained Strategic Planning. Earlier in the month I attended a fireside chat featuring a retired U.S. Marine Corp general. I had the opportunity to chat with him one-on-one after, and he introduced this fascinating concept. More to come on this topic!
Thanks for reading this week’s newsletter! Hope you enjoyed and I’d love to hear your feedback — reply here or reach me via the links below.
Have a great weekend!
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