Category Archives: diligence

Learn While Doing Things (Better)

Learning is a meta skill for thriving, growing, and doing better. When you don’t learn, you stay stuck and repeat the same mistakes. While learning might not be as urgent as performing tasks, producing output and meeting deadlines, it’s just as important.

Your performance is at its lowest when you’re purely performing or purely learning. You’re most likely to succeed when you have the ideal mix of both.

In episode 69 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) Chronic performance is counterproductive

2) The difference between having a fixed mindset and a growth mindset

3) 7 big ideas from Eduardo Briceño’s book, The Performance Paradox, to break out of chronic performance and turn the power of mindset into action

Big Idea #1: Chronic performance does not improve performance. (Progress toward success is rarely a straight line.)

Big Idea #2: Integrate learning into your work and life. (The Learning Zone and Performance Zone are two states of mind for different purposes.)

Big Idea #3: Combine the Learning Zone and the Performance Zone so you can learn while doing. (This is different from learning by doing, which is repeating an experience without reflecting on it.)

Big Idea #4: Use different learning strategies to improve performance. (Briceño provides 6 to try.)

Big Idea #5: Know the different types of mistakes and how and when to make, avoid, and respond to them. (Briceño divides them into four types: Aha-Moment Mistakes, Stretch Mistakes, Sloppy Mistakes and High-Stakes Mistakes.)

Big Idea #6: Understand the realities of having a growth mindset and integrating the learning process. (Briceño explains 6 common misconceptions.)

Big Idea #7: Build a strong growth propeller by attending to five elements: identity, purpose, beliefs, habits and community. (You can have one integrated identity with different responsibilities or multiple identities that involve your different roles in life. Ultimately, they should all encourage learning.)

4) I’m making an online course currently titled The Busyness Trap: How to Escape Overload and Focus on What Matters. To get updates on the course launch and registration process, subscribe to my e-newsletter or The Incrementalist YouTube channel or podcast.

To read the transcript of this episode, go here.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Watch the video our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show. And subscribe to the show to keep making big changes in small steps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps busy professionals and business owners reduce overwhelm, turn their ideas into action, and focus on what matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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How to step into uncertainty, make progress, and find flow

Uncertainty makes it harder to make progress and find flow in meaningful things. In easy conditions, progress is a straight line toward an end point. But when there’s uncertainty, progress is more like a feedback loop. The key is to focus on what you control and let go of what you do not.

In episode 68 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) When faced with the unknown, you can either take action or no action, do something or do nothing.

2) The difference between uncertainty and ambiguity and why they both cause frustration.

3) The Paradox of Control and how we create anxiety.

4) How good anxiety works for you and bad anxiety works against you.

5) The Progress Principle and ways to leverage it.

6) Progress is a feedback loop when you face the unknown.

7) How to step into uncertainty to make progress and find flow:

Tip 1 – Define the right problem or challenge to tackle before you get into solution mode.

Tip 2 – Break up the problem or challenge into subproblems or smaller challenges.

Tip 3 – Set clear, daily goals to make consistent progress, get immediate feedback and exercise control. (Stage 1 of flow cycle.)

Tip 4 – Disengage from the problem or challenge and let yourself imagine, daydream and mind-wander with intention. (Stage 2 of flow cycle.)

Tip 5 – Zoom in on the task at hand and find the sweet spot where the challenge is the right match for your current skill set. (Stage 3 of flow cycle.)

Tip 6 – Zoom out from the problem, take a break and rest. (Stage 4 of flow cycle.)

8) Benefits of the Flow Cycle

9) Benefits of the Progress Loop

10) I’m making an online course currently titled The Busyness Trap: How to Escape Overload and Focus on What Matters. To get updates on the course launch and registration process, subscribe to my e-newsletter or The Incrementalist YouTube channel or podcast.

To read the transcript of this episode, go here.

To listen to the podcast, click here and subscribe

Watch the video on The Incrementalist YouTube channel. And subscribe to the show to keep making big changes in small steps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps busy professionals and business owners reduce overwhelm, turn their ideas into action, and focus on what matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT

Goal Setting to Make Your Best Year Ever

Setting goals – when done right – puts you on the path to a more desired life. In goal setting, do not make the finish line the main thing or lose sight of the journey.

In episode 67 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) By breaking your big goals down into mini goals, you achieve small wins that build your confidence, grow your knowledge, and keep you on an upward spiral.

2) Goals are spotlights pointing you in a certain direction. They are not always your ultimate destination point.

3) The key differences between extrinsic goals and intrinsic goals.

4) Why it’s better to focus on goals you control, like your daily habits and actions.

5) The benefits of embracing failure as a chance to learn, instead of a negative experience to avoid at all costs.

6) Why you need to choose or design the ideal environment and not rely on your willpower.

7) Fear of hope is a root cause for why we resist change.

8) I’m creating an online course currently titled The Busyness Trap: How to Escape Overload and Focus on What Matters. To get updates on the course launch and registration process, subscribe to my e-newsletter or The Incrementalist YouTube channel or podcast.

To read the transcript of this episode, go here.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Watch the video on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show. And subscribe to the show to keep making big changes in small steps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps busy professionals and business owners reduce overwhelm, turn their ideas into action, and focus on what matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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A Bias for Action Can Make You Fail

A bias for action can help you do big things and reach big goals. In big projects, it’s vital in the delivery phase, which should be fast. But it hurts the planning phase, where it’s better to be slow.

In episode 66 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) A bias for action feels productive but can also backfire and cause big failure in big projects.

2) Every big project has 2 basic phases: Planning and Delivery.

3) In their book, How Big Things Get Done, authors Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner note that 99.5 percent of megaprojects go over budget, over schedule, fail to deliver promised results, or have some combination of these.

4) Failed projects use the Think Fast, Act Slow approach (rushed, superficial planning before project delivery). Successful projects apply the Think Slow, Act Fast pattern (careful, precise planning before project delivery).

5) To do big things, apply the Think Slow, Act Fast approach with these 5 action tips:

i) Tip #1 – Commit to not committing.

ii) Tip #2 – Think from right to left.

iii) Tip #3 – Tinker, test, and experiment.

iv) Tip #4 – Figure out what’s your LEGO – your basic building block – and keep adding one block to another.

v) Tip #5 – Take the outside view, not just the inside view.

6) Why the significance of planning is often downplayed: The Principle of the Hiding Hand and the Theory of Beneficial Ignorance or Providential Ignorance.

You don’t need to be deep in delivery mode to spark creative ideas. Use the think slow, act fast pattern to plan carefully, deliver effectively, and get the best results in big projects.

To learn more by reading the transcript, go here.

To listen to A Bias for Action Can Make You Fail, click here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the video on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show. And subscribe to the show to keep making big changes in small steps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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Solitude: The Overlooked Path to Move Through Loneliness

Solitude is a chosen state of being alone. It is not the same as interpersonal loneliness or existential loneliness, which may lead to an early death or death by suicide in extreme cases.

Solitary confinement and social outcasting are some of the worst forms of punishment. In psychoanalysis, Object Relations Theory basically states humans are social beings who need to have rewarding relationships to be fulfilled. And yet, the need for alone time is as vital to human life as the need for social interaction.

When you practice solitude, you will be better able to move through loneliness with skill, rather than try to end it unskillfully at all costs.

In episode 65 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) The main differences between solitude and loneliness

2) The key differences between loners and introverts, who both enjoy solitude

3) The reason extroverts might need solitude more than loners and introverts

4) The four key benefits of solitude:

i) Intentionality

ii) Intellectuality

iii) Simplicity

iv) Self-sufficiency

5) Easy ways to practice solitude in daily life

To learn more by reading the transcript, go here.

To listen to Solitude: The Overlooked Path to Move Through Loneliness, click here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the video on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show. And subscribe to the show to keep making big changes in small steps.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT