Think about the last time you had something crucially important to do, but got stuck in a loop of procrastination… What kept you from taking action?
Often, we procrastinate because we’re overwhelmed + unclear about the goal or project we’ve got in front of us.
We think about EVERYTHING that goes into getting to the finish line.
We think about EVERYTHING we need to do to accomplish the goal or project.
Then we start doubting ourselves:
- “It’s too big.”
- “It’s too vague.”
- “It’s too complex.”
- “It’s too scary.”
- “It’s more than I can handle.”
- “It’s just too much to deal with right now.”
These are some seriously demotivating thoughts… It’s the kind of self-dialogue that can send you straight down Procrastination Avenue (which is right across from Rabbit Hole Road).
Wanna know how to overcome it and start taking action?
One effective method for doing that is called the next action method.
The key to this idea (as it applies to beating procrastination) is to figure out the very next doable action you can take to move the ball forward — be it a task, a project, a phone call, or whatever else.
Here’s how it works:
1. Think of something you’ve been procrastinating.
Think of a project you’re procrastinating on or have procrastinated on in the past. Like finishing a presentation for work, or shipping a new product.
Take a moment to focus on how it makes you feel when you think about having to work on that presentation or product.
Think about all the work involved… How does it make you feel? Overwhelmed? Afraid? Incapable?
2. Make it doable.
Now, SHIFT your focus to ONE SIMPLE thing you can do right away to move this project closer to completion.
Think of just one single, simple, small, and DOABLE action you can take right away to get this project closer to DONE.
Even if it barely moves the needle.
Doing something is better than doing nothing.
Maybe you need to google some images to include in your presentation—that’s doable, right?
3. Make it your next action.
Did you identify a doable action you can take today?
If yes, I’m sending virtual high-fives 🙌 your way!
Now you’ve got your Next Action—something small, specific, and simple you can do today to make progress on your goal or project.
- The rationale behind the next action method is simple: When you do something your mind perceives as DOABLE, your energy increases, and your sense of direction and drive increases dramatically. This clears the way for you to overcome procrastination and start taking action.
Next time you feel like procrastinating, just figure out the next specific action you’re willing to take in order to move yourself closer to completion.
Then DO IT.
Even if it’s something as small as opening KeyNote or PowerPoint and naming your presentation.
It may not seem like much, but it’s something—and you can build from that.
Ready to triple your productivity?
The next action method is just one of the many proven + powerful productivity principles I teach in The Getting Things Done (GTD®) Course.
Check it out below 👇