June 23, 2022
What is the Next Action?
The Next Action is the next physical, visible activity that progresses something toward completion. And I mean this literally… For example:
- Research X for 10mins
- Follow up with X
- Schedule X
A Next Action should be so clear and simple that it needs very little thinking or effort to complete.
Why is this important?
Every time you start working on a project, you spend too much time clarifying and remembering where you left off and what you have to do next. This phase can be completely eliminated and in doing so will save you hundreds of hours.
It’s not rare for project plans to be detailed and clear, but most don’t clarify and update the Next Action.
Additionally, too many ideas end up dying a slow death because a single Next Action is never identified.
How does it work?
1. As soon as you're responsible for a project, whether it has been assigned or it’s a project that you created, clarify the single Next Action needed to push the project forward
2. Whenever you're done working on the project, again clarify the Next Action
With a clear Next Action, the next time you start working on a project, you don't have to clarify what was to get done, you simply jump into it.
The goal with Next Actions is to create momentum instead of worrying about success or completion.
Get traction anywhere and everywhere…
This also makes it easy to get small wins even while you’re on the go because you don’t have to think, only do.
What happens if I’m waiting for someone else to take action?
The Next Action in this case is likely to follow up with said person.
If you own the project, you ALWAYS own the Next Action no matter what.
Go ahead and try it:
- Make a list of all your to do’s
- Clarify the single Next Action of every item on the list
- The next time you’re going to work on you to do list, simply do the Next Action
- When you’re done working on a project, clarify the Next Action
See you all next Thursday 👋
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