What’s the next action?

One of the habits we don’t learn in school is how to take action.

  • We learn to follow the directions on the box.
  • We learn to sit still for 9 hours.
  • We learn to use a #2 pencil and fill in the circles.

But we don’t learn how to regulate our emotions, find out what really motivates us, or pursue an idea with relentless fervor.

In fact, as adults, it’s amazing that we can come up with any ideas at all. 

The good news is that there’s still time. Your brain is never actually done learning–well, not until you’ve given up on it.

One way to increase your productive output and hunt down more fulfilling work is to ask yourself “what’s the next action?”

If your massive end goal is to disrupt an industry or change legislation, chances are that the first step is actually very small.

It’s probably something like “call my friend Jules, who works in the industry.”

Or something like “Google: ‘how bills move through Congress.'”

Even if you’re wrong about the first step, you’re falling forward. You’ve given yourself the opportunity to learn from that mistake and bring that experience to your next step.

You’re building momentum.

And by constantly asking yourself “what’s the next action?” you’re building a preventative habit.

If you’re still not sold on this, just look at this list of a bazillion quotes on the misery of inaction.

2 Minute Action:

What’s something that’s been on your to-do list for a few weeks?

It could be personal or work related.

Are there any dependencies? (Things you’re waiting on to get started?)

What might you do if you knew you’d never get what you needed to start? Could you start anyway? Maybe in a different way?

What might be the next action?

What might be the first action?

I bet it will only take you a few minutes.

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