10 Ways to Do the Next Right Thing: When Taking Action Beats Overthinking
None of us knows what the coming months have in store, but we can control what we do with this very minute.
With so much noise and chaos around, you need to find a way to clear your head and stay in motion. This happens by taking action and focusing on tackling one thing at a time.
They don’t need to be huge undertakings, but rather, small actions that free up more mental energy while you ride this wave.
Your next action step might not be apparent, so it makes sense to focus on basic actions that lead to better personal and professional health.
Let’s take a look at why action is more important than ever and how you can start cutting through the noise today.
Action is the Antidote to Uncertainty
Right now, up is down and down is sideways. And overthinking during this time will just drive you deeper into a hole of confusion and paralysis. Action is always important, but even more so when dealing with a crisis.
It’s normal to feel fear in times like these, but it only has as much power as you give it.
According to research at MIT, our brains can really only effectively focus on 1 thing at a time. So if you are consciously focusing on the present negativity, it will consume you. But when you shift your attention to action, even if it’s a small one, your mind can crawl out of the fear and zero in on your chosen action. That’s not to say that fear automatically disappears, but it gives you the chance to slow the rumination and start on a more productive path.
In Stoic philosophy, action also keeps you out of the trap of unhealthy indifference toward chaotic situations. When faced with things outside of our control, it’s easy to think “well, there’s nothing I can do about the situation so I just have to wait it out.” Though acceptance of the situation is a healthy step, you can’t just stay there – it’s your responsibility to take back control through action. To live the “good life”, awareness and acceptance need to be paired with action.
At the end of the day, action is the force that can alter your mental state for the better. Instead of focusing inward, your energy shifts outward toward bringing you a sense of accomplishment. Every little task gives you a dose of satisfaction while bringing your life more organization now and into the future.
Great Leaders and Entrepreneurs Focus on the Next Right Thing to Do
For leaders, now is not the time to think through all of the “what ifs” and complexity of the situation. Rather, it’s an opportunity to truly lead by remaining calm in the storm and taking appropriate action. And the next right thing for many leaders is to be proactive about transparency.
In this video address to Marriott’s associates, he shows honesty, vulnerability, humbleness, and courage. This level of transparency and authenticity is much needed during this time because these characteristics are what brings us together as humans. Furthermore, his words aren’t empty – they are filled with real actions he is taking right now to benefit his organization.
Others are leading in this time through honest and encouraging messaging that keeps the focus on action.
Here are some great posts from Peep Laja, CEO at CXL Institute.
As you can see in Peep’s posts, there’s an acceptance of this changing landscape, but he’s also being proactive about advancing his business and helping others in the industry through useful advice.
Another notable leader is David C. Baker, author, and renowned entrepreneurial advisor. In the posts below, David does a good job of sharing tips on leadership while keeping it light with some humor.
Examples like these show us that honest acceptance paired with action and a willingness to help are what carry us through when normalcy fades.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Small Actions
For many of you, the next right thing to do is unclear. That’s why focusing on small actions you can take will start the momentum toward a more positive outlook.
Start with one thing that will help make your future a little bit tidier, a little more efficient, and a lot more effective.
In Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing, he says:
“Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”
When you focus on one thing, it releases your mind from other distractions. At Explainify, we use the power of the “one thing” in our client messaging work. We focus on the one message that needs to be refined. Step by step we narrow in on the one most important element of each stage of the creation process.
As normalcy returns, here are some actions you can take to get the ball rolling again for you and your business:
- Have one-on-one conversations with your team members
- Start a meditation practice to sharpen your mind and gain clarity
- Get outside for some exercise
- Tidy up your office space
For Your Business:
- Test and update all systems and software
- Form a consistent social media posting schedule
- Refine your sales process
- Revisit your sales funnel and see where content such as video fits in
- Create 1-3 new pieces of content (Consider investing in video as a way to jumpstart your marketing efforts moving forward)
Need help auditing your video marketing efforts? Contact us!
While you’re taking these actions, it’s also helpful to find one thing you can reward yourself with or look forward to each day.
Kevin Biggar has a great quote that goes:
“If your rational brain wants to see some progress, your emotional brain wants to look forward to some fun!”
Use logic and rationality to choose what to take action on, but then make sure to nurture your emotional side with something that brings you joy.
Heading Into the New Normal
It’s clear that action is your way through the noise and is also how you can enter the new normal with confidence.
There are a thousand things you could be focussing on moving forward but start with small action steps that are achievable and move the needle closer to your goals.
Use the power of the “one thing” and use that singleness of purpose to leverage your attention and energy to their full potential.
There’s a lot that’s still uncertain surrounding the current situation, but one thing you can count on is that you will always have the choice to take action instead of letting fear control your path.
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