Here is a simple idea that has the potential to create dramatic change.

I love the 5W 1H format; a basic yet brilliant formulae for exploring ideas and planning.

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
  • How

5W 1H fires the imagination and focuses your attention, yet I feel poor little “H” is outnumbered.

When 5W takes centre stage the danger is that analysis can have you turning in circles; stuck in analysis.

I feel H deserves more time.

In fact, I believe 90% is fair.

Perhaps the 5W 1H formulae could be re-written to 5W(10)1H(90)

This is something I am experimenting with and I invite you to try it too.

Next time you use the 5W 1H format, or any similar system, see where your time is allocated. As you go about your tasks ask yourself where you would file what you are doing in the 5W 1H cabinet? Can more time to added to H?

It can create quite a shift inside when you focus more time and energy on H – the H being solution orientated. Naturally 5W is an important part of the process, I just feel 1H needs more time.

Allowing yourself increased thinking time and inviting dozens of ideas (including any failures and mistakes) becomes part of the discovery process. The “Time to Think” Mind Map and Blog Post expands on the idea of allocating more time to contemplation in order to seek potential solutions. See also the Shortcut to Answer Blog Post and Mind Map. You may find it helpful to combine all three ideas.

5W 1H can be used as a weekly project outline by concentrating solely on one of the elements each day such as:

  • Mon – Who
  • Tues – What
  • Wed – Where
  • Thurs – When
  • Fri – Why
  • Sat – How
  • Sun – Contemplate

Or, using the new formulae 5W(10)1H(90) try:

  • Mon – 5W
  • Tues to Sat – 1H
  • Sun – Contemplate
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