Writing forms such a large part of what we do. I spend ages hunting for the right way to say something because I know that the words that I use shape so much of what we do (email I’m looking at you). But attention is scarce, so while we deal with complexity all the time, we have to be increasingly economical with our words.

This is especially typical for product managers, who have to write a lot of concise content describing things like working principles, guiding statements, product features and so on. Playbooks are everywhere these days.

Getting to the point quickly and then staying focused is of much importance. But this is difficult in practice. One strategy is to start with a verb.

Starting a sentence with a verb forces you to describe (with just one word) the action that is important. This is helpful because, firstly, it gives you a well defined starting point and, secondly, it orientates you on the signal that is most important—rather than describing something conceptually (nouns), it forces you toward concrete actions (verbs) that are important.

Hat tip to my colleague Philip Langley for suggesting this.