Most of us have some sort of to-do list floating around, whether it’s in our heads, a notebook or tracked through an electronic device. While many of the items are straightforward, some seem too large to tackle and often get pushed to the back burner week after week.
For these insurmountable tasks, chances are you’ve just listed an item that’s too “big picture.” Consider a list item like “Plan Vacation.” On the surface, this seems like a fun and easy task, but once you start thinking about all the factors that go into a vacation, like cost, location, scheduling and transportation, you can see how it might quickly spin out of control.
To fix this, start planning things by creating a “Next Action” that’s a clear single step toward a larger goal. Rather than “Plan Vacation,” your Next Action is to think of three locations to bring up at the next family dinner to discuss everyone’s preference. After you’ve settled on a location, the Next Action might be to compare hotel rates in the area to find the best place to stay.
By always creating a Next Action as a to-do, you’ll have a clearly defined goal that’s a smaller bite of an overall larger project.
To learn more about Next Actions and Getting Things Done, check out this article!
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