How to Take More Action: 9 Powerful Tips
had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment
rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and
happened to things.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
To get things done you need to take action. Things seldom happen on their own.
But taking action can be difficult and hard. And so it’s easy to wind up in Lazyville or Procrastinationland a lot. How can you break out of such behaviour and develop a behaviour of taking more action?
Here are 10 tips that you’ll hopefully find useful.
1. Reconnect with the present moment.
This will help you snap out of over thinking and just go and do whatever you want to get done.
This is probably the best tip I have found so far for taking more action since it puts you in a state where you feel little emotional resistance to the work you’ll do. And it puts you in state where the right actions often just seem to flow out of you in a focused but relaxed way and without much effort.
One of the simplest ways to connect with the present moment is just to keep your focus on you breathing for a minute or two. Check out 7 more tips in 8 Ways to Return to the Present Moment.
2. Be accountable to others.
If you tell a bunch of people that you are going to do something then it will be hard to not do it. You don’t want to disappoint them. Or have to face up to them the next time you meet.
If you have a hard time getting going with something get some support. If you for instance workout, do it with a friend to motivate each other to take action – and actually go to the gym – when motivation runs low. Motivating each other and bringing enthusiasm when one of you is feeling low can really help to develop consistency and useful habits.
Think about how you can involve others to help all of you to take more action.
This tip works well. But it can put you in situation where you take action to avoid pain, to avoid judgement. And it can help you create pressure within yourself. Such a state may not always be the best one to be in to take action and perform well. One way to lessen such problems is to use this tip and then when you are about to take action you reconnect with the present moment to quiet negativity within yourself.
3. Be accountable to yourself.
In the long run a more consistent and perhaps healthier way to develop a habit of taking more action is to answer to yourself instead of others. To set your own standards and principles for how you will behave.
The problem with this one is that you are likely to cheat on yourself and rationalize how you don’t need to take action or follow your principles. When the social pressure of having to answer to others isn’t there it’s easy to slip and fall into laziness or procrastination.
But over time you can become more and more consistent with acting according to your own standards. I believe that one of the keys to develop this kind of thinking is to get off a dependence on external validation and be more internally validated. You can read more about that at # 8 in 9 Great Ways to Make Yourself Absolutely Miserable.
If you can develop accountability to your own standards then it can be more consistent than the one you get from relying on being accountable to others. It comes from within so it doesn’t have to rely on other, outer circumstances that may fluctuate.
It is also very useful to help you feel good about yourself and to help you grow. If you rely on being accountable to others and their validation then you may grow but also feel confined by what others expect from you. If you are accountable to yourself then you set your limits wherever you want them.
4. Lighten up.