Predictable Randomness

Most of what happens in the world is ultimately predictable; Colds and flu, taxes, flight cancellations.

A few predictable things show up at predictable times: taxes, dentist appointments, Mondays.

Many predictable things show up at random times: Colds, rainy days, road closures.

Randomness happens, but it’s often more predictable than it appears.

First, it regresses to a mean. Most of us have a predictable amount of randomness, with a predictable seasonality. And there’s often a discernible pattern to what and when a random thing will show up; fly in a plane; come down with a cold a week later.

Charting the apparent randomness in your life allows you to discern patterns. Once you're aware of patterns -- most accidents occur on Mondays, two to four hours into a shift -- you start to transform randomness into predictability and reaction into preparation.

Try this

Download our weekly worksheet. Now, starting Monday, log all the things arriving unexpectedly and interrupting your workflow. If the interruption lasted more than 15 minutes, be sure to capture it, but be aware of the death-by-a-thousand cuts of small disruptions.

Any patterns emerging?

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