If you’re always rushing to complete all the items on life’s checklist, perhaps it’s time to redefine “productivity” and follow your Best Next Thing.
How often have you felt overwhelmed like you don’t have enough time, or you run out of energy half way through the day, and you never get enough stuff done? Common experience, right? For a lot of us. And so how do we end up handling that?
Well, one way is to just plan out everything that you’re going to do and time block and have every little detail organized. But then by the middle of the day, sometimes earlier, have you ever felt like a prisoner in a prison that you built? And then what’s the other way to handle that? Is just to just let go and let me just kind of go with whatever feels right, and let me just kind of think all day, and let me just feel good. And that’s cool for a time as well.
But ultimately, the way to be productive and to be happy at the same time is to be right in the middle, to be in your own groove. You actually can experience this ultra-human productivity when you’re not trying to do something just to get it done, but you’re doing something that feels good while you’re doing it, where action becomes its own reward. And you’re making progress on meaningful objectives but those are the byproducts of your action. You’re doing the things every day that you actually want to do. Is that even possible? It’s absolutely possible. And it’s a lot easier than you might think. And here’s how you do that.
It’s a little principle called The Best Next Thing. Now some of us here this and we think, no it’s the, I’m just going to do the next best thing, but I’m not talking about settling here. I’m not talking about letting go of what you actually want and just being happy and not being ambitious. We’re not talking about the next best thing, and not getting what you really want.
The best next thing. That simply means from right now, where you are, what’s the best feeling thing that you can do? Out of all this menu of actions that you might possibly take, what’s the one thing that feels the most inspiring for you? And your logical brain might jump in and say, yeah, but that’s not the most productive, or I’m not going to make the most money by doing that.
But money is not the ultimate form of value. Your energy is. You feeling good about the next thing that you’re doing, that’s how you get things done. So instead of stressing out because you’ve got this giant plan, or instead of just backing away from everything and saying I give up.
Why not feel for the best next thing? What is the one thing that you can do right now that has the most energy for you? And don’t be surprised if it seems to have nothing to do with your work or your job or your business. It might be going for a walk, it might be taking a nap, it might be getting on the phone and talking to a friend. And you may find that after that, you have a renewed sense of energy to then go for the best next thing.