A-Z Popular Blog Tactics Search »
Related Guides
Head Fake



Strategy vs Tactics

Tactical Goals

Tactical Planning

Tactics Definition

34 Examples of Shortcuts

Shortcuts are a means to get things done faster than a standard approach. These can be efficient or inefficient but are always intended to be fast. As time is often a critical and absolutely fixed resource, shortcuts are an important class of tactics that are required to get things done in the real world. The following are common examples of shortcuts.


Approximate calculations that can be computed easily but aren’t completely accurate or reliable.

Rules of Thumb

General rules that aren’t always accurate but simplify decision making.

Pareto Analysis

Prioritization based on the idea that 20% of tasks create 80% of value.

First Principles

Foundational rules with broad explanatory power.


Assigning work and authority to others.


Using automation to do work that you find uninteresting.

Fail Well

Experiments designed to fail quick, cheap and safe if they should fail.

Reverse Engineering

Working backwards from something that already exists.


Completing similar tasks together.


Completing the exact same task many times in order to gain efficiency.

A/B Testing

Testing two versions of something.

Minimum Viable Product

Getting your product in front of customers before it’s perfect.

Last Responsible Moment

Waiting until a decision really needs to be made.


Trying to ignore political opposition instead of engaging in debate.

Throwaway Prototype

Quick and cheap prototypes of things.


Very short meetings with a culture of standing instead of sitting.

Root Cause Analysis

Fixing the deepest root cause of problems.

Irrational Success

Engaging at the human level to see what people really want.


Simplifying the complex with an analogy.

Lean Thinking

Thinking about how things can be done well but fast and cheap.


Breaking things into their component parts to understand them.

Reverse Brainstorming

Brainstorming how things could go wrong.

Time Compression

Taking desperate measures to complete something quickly.


Overlapping tasks with dependencies as a form of time compression.


Allocating more people to a task to try to achieve time compression.

Task Optimization

Looking for ways to do a task faster and faster in cycles of improvement.


Attempting to learn something quickly immediately before you need it.


Attempting to do many things at once.


Periods of intensive work.


Putting a group in a room together until a task is completed.

Selective Listening

Listening for what you really need to know.

Fast Working

Working quickly in a totally focused and aggressively productive mode.


Making a quick decision that is reasonable enough without being perfect.


Accepting the imperfections of the real world to get things done with a flexible approach.
The term shortcut is often, but not always, is used with negative connotations to imply laziness or low quality. This is unfortunate because shortcuts are a critical type of behavior that are important to many real world situations where time is absolutely limited or otherwise critical.
Beyond tactics, shortcuts are also important to productivity and time management.
Next: Tactics
More about tactics:
Cut And Run
Do Nothing
Head Fake
Tit For Tat
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Schedule Compression

An overview of schedule compression with examples.


A few examples of tactics.

Strategy vs Tactics

A definition of strategy vs tactics with two examples.

Tactics Definition

A definition of strategy.

Tactical Planning

A definition of tactical planning with examples.

Tactical Goals

The definition of tactical goals with examples.

Gaming The System

The definition of gaming the system with examples.

Everyone Has A Plan

The source and meaning of Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face.

Top-Down vs Bottom-Up

The differences between top-down and bottom-up with examples.

Examples of Problems

An overview of common types of problems.


The basics of productivity.

Work Motivation

An overview of work motivation with examples.

Hawthorne Effect

An overview of the Hawthorne effect with examples.

Is Complexity Good

An overview of complexity and its pros and cons.

Increased Productivity

Examples of increased productivity at the level of a society, firm and individual.

Productivity Benefits

A list of the benefits of productivity for societies, firms and individuals.

Quality Of Work

The types of work quality with examples of each.

Know-how Examples

An overview of know-how with a list of examples.

Team Metrics

A list of common team metrics.

Work Management

An overview of work management with examples.

Standard Operating Procedures

An overview of standard operation procedures.


The practice of running an efficient meeting.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map