Before any action can take place, you have to answer the question – “What am I going to do next?” If you put off asking the question then you will put off taking action.
Creating a habit of asking this powerful question has helped my life and business coaching clients to end procrastination and get more done on the most important areas.
You probably put “projects” and “outcomes” on your to do list or calendar (or worse, just keep them in your head) and tell yourself that you’ll figure out the “next actions” at a later time. You might think you’re too busy to define the next action or that you don’t have all of the information you need to make a decision about what to do next. There are lots of reasons you might delay this little bit of thinking, however, delaying will never serve you.
- Every time you define a new project or outcome, or set a goal, immediately define the first step. Ask yourself – “What’s the next action?”
- Every time you complete an action, but the project isn’t complete, define the next action.
- Every time you add an item to your to do list or calendar, make sure you have defined an outcome and a next action.
- When you process your In Boxes (your voicemail, email inbox, mail box, etc.) decide on the next action for each item, and if you’re not going to take that action right away, put it on your to do list or in your calendar for later.
- Once per week, go over your to do lists and make sure every project or outcome has its next action defined and written down.
- Get into the habit of asking yourself – “What’s the next action?” on a regular basis. Make a habit of writing the answers down on a list that you review regularly (preferably daily) so that you can get all of these details out of your head.
If you can get to the point where you have all of your Projects, Outcomes, and Next Actions defined and written down, and you trust yourself to review your lists regularly, your mind will finally be clear. You will have all of your energy and mental focus for the present moment. You will leave overwhelm and procrastination behind. You will be able to focus all of your energy on the task at hand. You will enjoy yourself more, be more creative, and get more done in less time.
This will change your life and move you forward consistently in your business.