Particularly during periods of transition (but quite possibly, all the time), we increase our odds of success when we think like a coder.

This week, we were providing a team of movers with directions on what should be packed and what should remain in the house. And as we gave directions on the first day, we made a mistake that caused swirl, confusion, and rework.

On the second day, learning from that experience, my coder husband identified a better way. So on Day Two, instead of giving big picture guidance that the movers might easily overlook or disregard, we laid out the work to be done in step-by-step pieces. No mistakes.

This mindset works in my personal life, too. I can set a goal to “get more fit,” or to “lose five pounds.” That rarely has the desired effect. But when I define a goal to “run three times a week, increasing my pace by at least :05/mi each session,” I am able to achieve steady progress.

Thinking like a coder means breaking down a goal into bite-sized, measurable chunks over a define timeline.