Next Action Thinking

5/10/2011 |

Get organised. Get productive.

Imagine the scene. On the early morning train to London, still dark, everybody half asleep…….all except one poor woman who had decided that it was a great idea to leave the sorting out of all her receipts and paperwork until the morning she was due to see her accountant to finalise her accounts.

The lady was travelling with a colleague who was trying to help. There were piles of paper set out all over the small table, much to the annoyance of fellow passengers, who were becoming increasingly agitated by the two of them. It was clear from their stressful conversation that the goal of organising the paperwork before reaching Waterloo was never going to be achieved but that didn’t stop them trying. That was until the colleague knocked her flask of coffee over the paperwork.

Although nothing was said, you could feel the “that will teach them” vibes from everyone in the carriage.

I don’t know the final outcome of this story as I left the train whilst the coffee was being mopped up but my best guess is that neither their journey nor the appointment with the accountant was as productive as it could have been.

Although we may not all cause chaos on early morning trains we are probably all guilty of putting things off until we HAVE to do them.

Why do we do this?

Well it has something to do with our relationship with the task. If we don’t like something, we tend to avoid it. Maybe the task seems too big. Maybe we are unclear in our minds about how to get started.
If that is the case, ask yourself one simple question about the task.

“What is the next action?”

Once you have determined how you can make a start on moving a task forward you begin to gain momentum and the motivation to complete it…..ahead of any deadlines.
Follow this simple formula and you’ll be amazed by how much you can achieve.
I’m sure our friend on the train wished she had!



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