Jason Lengstorf

I’ve written 21 posts about how I stopped being such a dingus.

I write about building strong teams, healthier working lives, effective habits, and more. In these posts, I share actionable strategies written from real experience.

Creating Great Content Is a Process, Not a Project

The pressure to “get it right” when making content can be brutal. If we reframe content creation to be a process, it doesn’t have to be so rough.

How to Build a Consistent Content Creation Habit

If your goal is to be more consistent with content, your instinct may be to make a plan. But trying to plan your way to a creative habit is a mistake.

Draw the Box Smaller

If you’ve got big ideas and can’t seem to get people to buy in, it might not be your idea. You might just need to draw the box smaller.

Toolkits Over Checklists

Getting things done right is critical, but how you get things done matters. Learn why toolkits are a better approach than checklists when creating processes.

The problem with grinding

Are we successful because we grind? Or in spite of it? Learn how the grind might be holding you back instead of giving you the boost we might expect.

Get the results you want more often by reducing friction

How can we combine our knowledge of human behavior with critical thinking to give our customers, our teams, and ourselves the best chance for success?

2019 Personal Retrospective: Measuring progress and setting goals

Every year I write a personal retrospective to take a look at where I've been and set goals for where I want to go next — posted in public for the curious.

Planning vs. Execution: How much planning is too much?

How do we know we’ve planned enough? It’s impossible to plan perfectly, but a solid plan is still critical for getting things done.

What Are You Optimizing For?

The “right” or “wrong” decision depends on who you are. How can you be more sure you’re making the right decision for you? Know what you’re optimizing for!

First, Get Ready: What Mise En Place Teaches Us About... Everything

The best chefs rely on mise en place to guarantee every meal comes out right. It’s also a killer productivity hack. Here’s how you can start using it today.

The Ugly Other Half of Creativity

If we hope to turn our Big Ideas™ into meaningful progress, we need to become ruthless, murderous editors.

Personal Retrospective: Q1 2019

I set goals at the beginning of 2019. This is a check in to see how I’m doing, what I should keep up, and what I should change to make sure I get where I want to go.

The Importance of Setting Good Expectations

Every negative emotion I’ve felt (or caused) can be traced back to violated expectations. Learning to set better expectations is a business superpower.

Yak Shaving: On Doing the Work Before the Work

Yak shaving, meta-work, and why they might just be the most important part of making meaningful progress.

Automation + Control: Progressive Disclosure of Complexity

How can we design systems that are friendly to beginners, but accessible to experts? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution — we need layers of abstraction.

2018 in Review: How I’m Structuring Goals to Make 2019 My Best Year Yet

Goals only matter if they’re measured. I’m learning from last year and setting measurable goals to make 2019 my best year yet.

Level Setting: Solve the Right Problem at the Right Time

If we want to solve problems effectively, we need to know which part of the problem to focus on at what time — and when to shift focus elsewhere.

Dirt Floors: How to Stop Putting Out Fires and Solve the Real Problem

What do dirt floors have to do with going to school? And what does any of that have to do with working more effectively?

Find the Why: Uncovering the (Sometimes Hidden) Reasons We Do the Things We Do

Underneath the things we do, there are almost always deeper reasons. In order to make the best decisions and live the best life, we should figure out what they are.

2017 Retrospective: What went right? What could have gone better? How will I improve going forward?

For many of us, 2017 was a pretty rough year. In this post, I’ll take a look at my 2017 experience, and how I’ll use that information to improve my 2018.

Only Keep Score Against Yourself

Success is not how much money you make. It’s not how much stuff you own. It’s not your job, your status, or your rank against the neighbors. So what is it?