1. No 7s When you are trying to make a decision whether to do something, for example accept an invitation or not, rate out of 10 how interested you are or how relevant it is to you. Whenever you give a 7/10 force yourself to either round it down to a 6 or up to an 8. This helps considerably to clarify and put things into perspective and I find it very effective in deciding what to prioritize my time with.
2. No fuzzy words When explaining to others or yourself how often you do things or how regularly a situation occurs you probably use words like "occasionally", "every now and again", "maybe", "from time to time", "sometimes", "not that often" etc. When you use these words encourage yourself and others to put a % on them. For example: I work late every now and again implies perhaps 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 times out of every 10 nights. By saying I work late 30-40% of the time can alert us to an issue that simply "every now and again" doesn't. It can also force us to look a bit deeper and upon closer inspection it may be that "every now and again" is actually every other night. The words we use or don't use are important when evaluating our lives.
3. Temptation or Opportunity? When deciding if something is a temptation to be resisted or an opportunity to be seized ask yourself "Does this fit into my life blueprint 10 years from now?"
4. The 5 whys - Is it the problem or just a symptom of the problem? To find a solution to a problem we need to know and fully understand what the problem really is. For example "We didn't hit our weekly sales target" Why? Because we didn't make enough new sales. Why? Because we didn't contact enough new potential clients. Why? Because we didn't have enough staff to make the extra calls. Why? Because 2 members of the team were tied up with other tasks. Why? Because they were required to handle a specialist case for a different team as nobody in that team was trained to do so.
5. What COULD be good about that? Nothing. But if there HAD TO BE something good about it what would that be? In any situation where you are experiencing a challenge, a problem, or an annoyance ask yourself this question and do not stop exploring it until you have an answer. More often than not I find it to be a powerful reframing process.