“Willpower” Book | Some Takeaways

A few takeaways from “Willpower” by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

What Is “Willpower”?

Willpower is most easily defined as self-control. 

It refers to the ability one has to identify and resist impulses that may offer short-term rewards in hopes of achieving longer term, more rewarding goals.

Why Should You Care?

We all know that some things in life are outside of our control, but luckily, the amount of willpower you currently possess is not one of those things.

“Willpower” by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

Willpower – unlike other human attributes that we may have less control over like intelligence (IQ) and personality – can be increased with effort.

And more importantly, a greater amount of willpower can help you achieve your goals regardless of what those goals may be.

It makes sense when you think about it.

No matter how you define success, the better your ability to utilize self-control to resist temptations and distractions that work against your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.

So, How Can You Optimize It?

Clarify long-term goals first

Willpower is meaningless outside the context of long-term goals, and establishing clear, unconflicting long-term goals is an important first step before spending time trying to figure out how to accomplish them. Continue reading ““Willpower” Book | Some Takeaways”

Agile or Waterfall: What’s the best approach for your project?

Examining 4 Quadrants of Project Extremes

Extreme Scenarios

Extreme scenarios are rare in projects as they are in most aspects of life.

“…examining project extremes can help us learn to identify the types of projects where Agile methods may be most and least effective.”

Rare scenarios like these may never be encountered in your day-to-day work, and at first, it could feel like analyzing them is a waste of time.

Waterfall vs Agile: How to Choose?

But in many industries, there is often something to be learned from taking a closer look at these extreme events.

Examining extremes in business like overnight success stories versus unprecedented failures can help entrepreneurs mold better processes for successfully managing the average organization.

Examining extremes in human performance like the habits of olympic athletes versus the habits of the highly sedentary can help health professionals prescribe better nutrition and exercise plans for the average patient.

In a similar way, examining project extremes can help identify the types of work where Agile methods like Scrum can be most and least effective. Continue reading “Agile or Waterfall: What’s the best approach for your project?”

User Stories: Background & Benefits

What are they? Why use them?

Story Time with the Fam
Everybody loves a good story.

Stories are powerful tools.

They help us remember, they entertain us and they allow us to relate to one another unlike anything else.

If you’re familiar with Agile development (if not, start here) you’re probably aware that user stories are a common approach for capturing product requirements. But have you ever wondered, why?
Or have you ever been curious about where they originated?

If so, this article might be able to help.

Key Takeaways


What is a user story? 

A user story is a lightweight method for quickly capturing the “who”, “what” and “why” of a product requirement.

User stories are written in everyday language and describe a specific goal (what) from the perspective of an individual (who) along with the reason (why) he/she wants it.

In software development, the goal Continue reading “User Stories: Background & Benefits”

Scrum vs Agile

What’s the difference? How do they relate?

Scrum Co-founders: Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber
Scrum co-founders: Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber img

Ever find yourself using “Agile” and “Scrum” interchangeably because you’re unsure which is correct?

Do you know the history of each term or how the two are related?

Did you know that’s it’s been over 30 years since the article that inspired Scrum was published in the Harvard Business Review?

If these questions interest you or you’d just like stop confusing the terms (like me!), this article may be able to help

Quick Overview


While the two concepts are related with many of the same players involved, Agile and Scrum are not synonymous. “Agile” refers to a group of several software development frameworks that are united around a few key principles. “Scrum” is simply Continue reading “Scrum vs Agile”

Getting Things Done

How I Never Forget To Do Anything

Do you often have the best intentions but fail to follow through?

Do you make too many commitments and feel overwhelmed from trying to juggle way too many tasks?

Do you have piles of “stuff” that continually builds up in your mind that you’re never quite sure what to do about?

If so, this blog may be for you.

Ok… “never” may be a strong word. I do forget things on occasion, but I have found that it seems to happen much less frequently than many people.

In the past, I’ve been somewhat reluctant to talk much about productivity and self-improvement until a recent conversation with a couple of friends who encouraged me to share more often.

Getting Things Done by David Allen
Getting Things Done by David Allen

So today I thought I would share a simplified version of the system I use to organize everything that comes across my plate.

First off, I don’t believe that the ability to remember and keep track of commitments is a reflection of one’s character, work ethic or intelligence. It’s simply about having a trusted system in place that works for you.

The following 5 steps are Continue reading “Getting Things Done”