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The next (small) step

In the face of too much to do (which there always will be), too little time (there is never enough), lack of clear information about the present (let alone the future), and uncertainty about what’s going to work (probably the bit that makes your work interesting and important) and how best to do it, what should you do?

One answer is to identify a set of things that you think are important, and take action on the smallest task that you can identify that would represent progress:

  • Write an email
  • Complete an application
  • Tweak a website
  • Encourage a colleague
  • Arrange a meeting
  • Look back at your vision and values
  • Do some research
  • Write an article
  • Ask someone for help

You might recognise these as favourite tools of procrastination – which they are… unless they’re in the service of the things you think are most important.

2 thoughts on “The next (small) step”

  1. Thanks Stu. Interesting how you say these can be tools of procrastination. I do recognise them yet as you say, if in service of a greater goal they are things that keep us moving, add a log to the furnace or whatever metaphor we choose to use. I wonder what the factors are that change them from procrastinations to active steps? For me I keep a plan of how the steps add up. I imagine how that email/zoom coffee will take me in the right direction. I’ll weigh up what information I’m waiting on and what research would complement that. There’s an intentionality and a hopefulness about my work that means it’s a next step in service of the greater goal. I think this is a really helpful area to consider as at present I have 6-7 of these ongoing projects on the go and making ongoing progress with – and then of course how to track that progress is another thing!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...