Productively Spending Time between Year-end Holidays: using Option Solving?

I got talking with a good friend at the recent Christmas Eve Party. He was ruminating on how to spend his time during the almost week-long, in-between, year-end holidays. We found a corner, with a beer in our hands, to discuss his dilemma. I refreshed him on the option solving approach, then we found a piece of unused paper, and set to work.
His immediate requirement was to develop a solid rational question, which turned out to be: “What is the most productive use of my time between year-end holidays; considering 1) need time to unwind; 2) likely mixed weather conditions; 3) involve family wherever possible; and 4) use as ideal time to think about 2016?” His four considerations were at least 50% of the most important ones we listed, so as to make his life less complicated..
It was now time for him to frame yin and yang “bookends” – see our worked example – that would contain his eventual choices: which were, “Just vegetate” and “Fill every hour of every day with something.” When you look at our Latest Example, you’ll see why these two bookends were not particularly workable in his case.
Now his bookends were in place, I worked quickly to get him to identify at least five alternative, practical options to stretch his thinking as much as possible. In fact, as you will see, he came up with six. One of his options was: “Option A -Work related activities, weekday AM and personal projects or family PM.” I advised him to sleep on his “pictogram” and then review it first thing in the morning. Whatever his most spontaneous choice, which had been objectively researched by his intuitive mind overnight, should be the one to pursue…even if it didn’t seem quite the ideal choice. He shouldn’t second-guess himself.
This overnight activity is called emotional distancing, Pretty soon after making his after-sleep choice, I encouraged him to figure out an action initiative while things were still pretty fresh in his mind. That way he would not have to second-guess himself rather than making headway. Which option would you have chosen?
If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area. Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Options for moving a major client forward?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through


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