Using Mental Models and Second Order Thinking To Better Understand Your Problems

Using Mental Models and Second Order Thinking To Better Understand Your Problems

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Welcome to our Productivity Tip of the Day, where we summarize the best articles from across the web, and extract the key tips and tricks that will help your productivity.

TODAY’S ARTICLE
Mental Models: Getting the World to Do the Work for You
by Shane Parrish (@farnamstreet)

Key Takeaway: People often work harder to clean up otherwise avoidable messes they created by making poor initial decisions. Begin to make better decisions by using mental models.

Tips & Tricks:

What are mental models?

  • Mental models are a framework for helping you to grasp new ideas quickly, identify patterns and shift your perspective.

What mental models you can use to make better decisions?

  • Use second-order thinking. The simple way to conceptualize this is to ask yourself “If I do X, what will happen after that?”.

How to implement mental models in your decision-making:

  • Avoid using the first conclusion that comes to mind.
  • Think about the implications of your conclusions before executing on them.
  • Ask what other solutions might be even better than your current one.
  • If possible, extend this to third-order thinking. For example, “If Y happens after doing X, what would happen after Y?”