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
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.
Prioritization based on the idea that 20% of tasks create 80% of value.
Foundational rules with broad explanatory power.
Assigning work and authority to others.
Using automation to do work that you find uninteresting.
Experiments designed to fail quick, cheap and safe if they should fail.
Working backwards from something that already exists.
Completing similar tasks together.
Completing the exact same task many times in order to gain efficiency.
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.
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.
Engaging at the human level to see what people really want.
Simplifying the complex with an analogy.
Thinking about how things can be done well but fast and cheap.
Breaking things into their component parts to understand them.
Brainstorming how things could go wrong.
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.
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.
Listening for what you really need to know.
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.