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24. Working Towards Nothing

Imagine that you and your team have been trying to figure out a problem over several months. You’ve had meetings, conducted research, and interviewed outsiders. The next steps, however, are still unclear. What should you do?

Our tendencies in these situations is to take action - any action, even though we aren’t sure if it’s the right thing to do.

Sometimes the situation dictates that we must act. But many times decisions stem from our need for closure. Being the hyper-productive beings that we are, we want to cross things off the list or close the loop.

Relatedly, it’s time to get comfortable with “sunk cost.” Don’t make things worse by taking unnecessary action. Plus, time spent on one task takes away from time spent on another. Spending time figuring out that something should simply continue to be monitored and reevaluated in the future, in some cases, is the best decision.


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