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Several years ago I wrote a guest post on my favorite local frugal living blog. It’s a theme that has stuck with me, and I still firmly believe that focusing on the one next action is essential to success in any area of life.
BJ Fogg, in his book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything, talks about identifying a small trigger and making that your goal. Often, this leads to taking the next step and developing good habits. But the idea of identifying the smallest possible first step – and taking it – is a game changer.
Doing one thing is a step in the right direction. If I avoid the clean laundry pile because it’s overwhelming, there will always be an overwhelming laundry pile. Action, any action, makes a difference.
Some days, one thing is truly all I have time and energy for. Other times, I find that once I make that first step, I have motivation to do a little more. Maybe 5 minutes, maybe 15 minutes. Occasionally, I finish a whole task. Giving myself permission to only do one thing, gives me the freedom to want to do more, rather than feeling like I have to do more.
While the linked article focuses primarily on personal and household next actions, the same applies to careers, management and business. It’s entirely too easy to get caught up in small, unimportant tasks because figuring out what the one next action that will make a big difference is can feel hard.
Developing a routine of daily habits and a daily priority list is one easy way to identify what one next action you can pick right now to move the needle in the right direction.