In the mood for a light, uplifting story? Yes? Keep reading. It's a colorful illustration of a mega-important principle I want to talk about today. Don't feel like a good story? Skip right to the last paragraph.
<It's an exert from a blog I love, translated to the best of my ability. Names were omitted to protect the guilty>.
Smelling unfamiliar perfume, the almost-husband said, "you know, baby, marriage is a crucial step, let's check our feelings, liven-up out routine..."
Judging by the smell of perfume the livening-up has already begun.
She thought it was love. Turned out – routine.
In the end, they will be together.
He promised, after all.
In May called and asked, " How are you? Fine? Miss you, baby, look, we're off to Vermont, my old red jacket is in the basement, fix that worn out pocket, would you? I’ll swing by Friday, pick it up, love, kisses, bye baby!"
She took out a box of threads and needles and accidentally pricked her finger. Painfully.
Holding the bloody finger under cold water, she felt something in her mind finally click.
"Everything? You threw out... everything?" he gasped the next day, " You're out of your mind? And the gray suit too? Do you remember how much it cost?! You’re crazy, I’m coming, we’ll talk it over… What do you mean – changed the locks?!"
And this, friends, is the power of Next Action.
Once our heroine took that next action and threw out the old red jacket, she finally had the momentum to get rid of that jerk's presence. She threw out everything (imagine what a project that was), and even changed the locks.
The Next Action habit is one of the most powerful tools I’m familiar with.
It’s mind-boggling how much time and agony this little step saves. Like a Jedi mind trick. For every project (project = more than one task), ask yourself: What the next action should be?
Define it using a verb, then put it in a trusted system, where you can see it when the time comes. Or get to it right away, using the powerful momentum you've just created. If the Next Action has to happen at a specific time, put a reminder for it in your phone or calendar.
It is incredibly effective against procrastination. We often procrastinate because we’re not entirely clear on what to do next. Once we have this clarity, our energy levels go up, and resistances sink down. I mentioned it a couple sentences ago, but it's worth repeating: Having the next action defined before you embark on a task or a project, creates momentum, and lo and behold, stuff gets DONE!
Now, I want you to think about your most burning project. What's your next action?
Feel free to reply in the comments. Accountability is magic...
And if you're in a generous mood, click below.