Do you have a favorite set of forcing functions? A forcing function is any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result. If you have areas in your life that you’re finding inertia, try adding some forcing functions to get results.
Slides as Forcing Functions
At Microsoft patterns & practices, one of our forcing functions is building a slide deck. Building a deck is a forcing function because it forces us to distill the points, close down on issues, identify what we know, don’t know and need to know next in a fairly constrained way. It helps to balance our elaboration on certain issues.
Blog Posts as Forcing Functions
I like to use blog posts as a forcing function. There’s plenty of topics I could write books on, but I like using a post as a forcing function. Blog posts force me to chunk something down into a useful nugget.
Examples of Forcing Functions
Here’s some examples of forcing functions:
- Schedule time
- Show and tell
- Written goals
Scheduling time is a simple, but effective practice. It forces you to make time, and it’s easier to get something done once you’ve made time for it. Events force a work-backwards schedule. Presenting forces you to to a dry run of your material and see how it lands. I use a “show and tell” each week on my team as a forcing function to drive results, share learnings, and get feedback. It’s a lighter-weight presentation but gets great results.
My Related Posts