Max Reisner: Refining Decision-Making and Removing Barriers to Productivity | Work in Progress #27

In this episode, host Johanna Wickramaratne is joined by Maximilian Reisner, an expert in behavioral decision-making and an Applied Behavioral Economist

There is a prevalent challenge of decision-making paralysis in both personal and professional spheres. In this podcast, listeners can gain valuable insights into the behavioral economics behind decision-making, exploring practical strategies to overcome biases and enhance productivity. 

Meet Maximillian Reisner

Max is an Applied Behavioural Economist who founded DecisionScience. He works with significant Australian organizations to assist them in understanding the psychology of why people act, decide, change, and make purchases.

He has nearly ten years of expertise in both academia and industry. Additionally, he advises businesses on effectively engaging the irrational brain by motivating staff members or encouraging consumers to bond with their brand.

About the episode

Emphasizing the significance of prioritization and decision-making, Max contends that productive individuals consciously minimize distractions and prioritize tasks, ensuring efficient use of time and resources. Understanding personal sources of distraction and recognizing counterproductive habits can help you overcome obstacles to productivity.

Successful individuals, he notes, attribute their productivity to effective habits aligning with their goals. Drawing from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, he introduces System 1 and System 2 thinking. System 1 represents subconscious, automatic, and irrational thinking, responsible for gut feelings, while System 2 embodies rational, deliberate, and effortful thinking.

You can make decisions effectively by crafting an environment that reinforces positive choices and minimizes temptations, allowing your rational mind to steer when necessary. Max proposed the practice of tiny habits, such as placing the phone in a different room at night. He advocates cultivating productive behaviors to overcome temptations and ultimately achieve long-term goals.

Max identified four hindrances that affect decision-making:

  • Biases underestimate time and effort
  • The planning fallacy neglects external disruptions
  • Bikeshedding fixates on peripheral tasks
  • The “I’ll start Monday effect” procrastinates tasks unnecessarily. 

Techniques such as designing a distraction-free learning environment, habit stacking, and temptation bundling can help you develop new habits and learn to associate the new behavior with the old routine.

Max challenges past productivity myths in addressing barriers to productivity, emphasizing that external distractions are not the sole culprits. He contends that internal biases and mental hindrances have always played a significant role. Max asserts that sound decision-making is a prerequisite for productivity, dispelling the notion that external factors alone dictate our efficiency.

In conclusion

Max Reisner’s insights on productivity, decision-making, and the power of small habits provide a holistic framework for personal and professional growth. By emphasizing the subjective nature of productivity and the importance of recognizing biases, Max offers practical strategies to overcome decision-making barriers and enhance efficiency. Temptation bundling, habit stacking, and a supportive environment present actionable steps to cultivate positive habits and make informed decisions.

Be the first to see our next episode. Follow us on social media to stay updated:





You can also subscribe and listen to the show on your preferred podcasting platforms:

Apple Podcasts



iHeart Radio




Google Podcast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.