If you've been following along the past couple of days, you now have a few (or several) project lists. While running through to-do lists in your head is its own kind of stress, seeing all these tasks listed in black and white may feel intimidating. However, when you rewrote these tasks, so they included an action word, you were clarifying what you wanted to do.
That action word makes it more difficult to ignore the task because it’s defining the task. There’s no looking at a word or two written on a Post-It note and wondering, “what was I supposed to do here?”
But, still, you have all these lists. The question to ask is, “What’s my next action?” If “schedule physical” is on your list of calls to make, your next action is to look up your doctor’s telephone number because you can’t schedule your physical without calling that number.
If “clean garage” is on your list, your next action may be to look up prices of Dumpster rentals online or buy boxes and trash bags. Your next action isn’t to actually start cleaning your garage.
To better understand the power of identifying your next action, look at any tasks that you’ve wanted to do for a while but that haven’t been getting done.
The problem might not be connected to your desire to do the task or even the time it would take to carry out the action. It might be that you need to identify your next action, the step that needs to get done to clear the way for the next step, and the one after that.
When you clarify your next action, do it or schedule when you’ll do it. When it’s done, identify the next action for the project.
Tomorrow, the essential step that makes your lists useful.
Susan, chief (and only) organized squirrel at A Less Cluttered Life, pursues learning, practicing, and sharing information about the everyday habits that can lead to living a better life.