In general, people think that if they were more organized, their productivity would skyrocket. But this is not entirely true: organization doesn't always equal productivity. Being organized is just one piece of your productivity puzzle. You may have the most organized and efficient space around you, and your priorities may be spot on, yet still fall behind. The question is, why?
There are many possible reasons, such as decision-making pace or issues delegating. However, there is one ubiquitous reason: lack clarity on the next action. I've seen busy people sit at their desks and wonder what to do next. They go over what they have already done on a particular project and then decide on the next steps. This process wastes valuable time. The solution: plan your next action ahead of time. Listing priorities on your to-do list or productivity app is just the first step in the process. It would be best if you had a clear understanding of what comes next and what do you need to get there.
Think of a coach's game plan. To win the game, a coach will create a play-by-play plan for players to follow during the game. This is not to say that the plan can't be tweaked during the game, but in general lines, it represents their roadmap to victory.
Let me break down what I mean. For each project you want to tackle, do the following:
Decide on the project
Break it down into as many small actions or tasks as possible
Once you complete one action or task, decide on the next one immediately and write it down
Repeat every time you complete a task
Why is it important to plan the next action every time you complete a task from your list? Because by writing down the next steps you'll move closer to completing the full project -faster. This is even more vital if you don't plan on completing those actions in the near future. The end goal is to know exactly where to start the next time you work on your project. Otherwise, you’ll waste time recapping what you did before and deciding what course of action to follow now. If you finish a task and plan the next steps immediately after, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running next time. A straightforward habit you can start building now and see results right away.
Once you get into the habit of planning the next action, apply it at work and in your household. We all know that household chores are never-ending, so write down what to do next and take it from there the following day. This simple strategy saves time otherwise lost making low-value decisions.
A couple of words will suffice, no need for a detailed rationalization of what needs to be done and why. Keep in mind that the goal is to plan the next action today, so tomorrow you'll be glad you paved the way for a productive day at home and the office.
Are you in the habit of planning the next action of your project? Share your thoughts below! I would love to hear from you about this and other topics related to productivity and time optimization. Please, like, share, and leave a comment below so this post can reach more people. Thanks for reading, and have a productive week!