Monday, August 18, 2014

Two Questions to Simplify Your Life

The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. 

The Art Of War - Sun Tzu
Chapter 1: Number 3

In making decisions, one has to consider a lot of factors. In short everything needs to be considered. In the book The Art of War, there are five constant factors:

  1. The Moral Law
  2. Heaven
  3. Earth
  4. The Commander
  5. Method and discipline
Which means a lot of thinking and doing is involve.

I'm lazy and I hate big tasks. I don't want to make long decision making. I want them done immediately, accurately and fast. And so, I have to just simplify the problem.

Once the problem is identified, ask these questions:

  1. Is it Urgent?
  2. Is it Important?

Sample: You were given 10 things to deal with and they want you to make a decision in 2 minutes. Go through each of them and ask "Is this urgent?". In the end you have divided them in two - urgent and non urgent. Next, concentrate on the urgent things and go through each of them, again and ask, this time, "Is this Important?". So, you have divided the urgent things to important and not important. Now everything is simple. Start deciding on this hierarchy

  1. Urgent and important
  2. Urgent but not important
  3. Not Urgent but important
  4. Not urgent and not important

Know this by heart and you'll be able to decide faster than ever.

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