I remember the first time I thought my computer was being hacked.
Adrenaline is kicking in.
Clear, calm thinking - not so much.
It's perfectly natural to respond to pressure and adverse events like this. But it isn't practical.
Sorting out a problem, particularly a technical one in a hurry, requires clear thinking.
So how did I learn from this and enable clear thinking in times of pressure?
Two ways: practice and use the OODA loop.
Practice is all about time served - so there is no shortcut. Sorry.
But the OODA loop - a continuous cycle of observe-orientate-decide-act - is something you can use today.
I first heard about OODA loops from Simon Wardley over 10 years ago. It made perfect sense then, and I still use it today.
The strength of OODA lies in its simplicity and continuous cycle:
- Observe: What do I know or can see?
- Orientate: What can I do about it? What options are available?
- Decide: What am I going to do about it?
- Act: Do it.
I've used it in many situations, and it has consistently withstood diverse challenges.
As a thought experiment: How would you handle a crucial part of your business that went up in literal or metaphorical flames?
Observing. Orientating. Deciding. Acting... will help.
PS: I wasn't hacked... it was just one of my extremely poorly written apps that I had forgotten about. 🤦