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Setting yourself up for action: 4 tips

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What makes the difference between productive workers and those who simply think they’re productive? Doing vs. talking. Here are four quick tips on how to set yourself up for action:

1. Jolt yourself into action by trying something. You may be accustomed to planning things out perfectly, yet for most of us, things often don’t go exactly as planned.

So if you’re stuck in a planning rut, take action in any way you can. You’ll learn something by acting. And the momentum will help you refine your objectives and move ahead.

2. Prototype your ideas. Designers aren’t the only ones who can create a prototype—it’s really just a trial run. And it’s useful because we rarely strike upon the best solution right out of the gates. We get there through trial and error. The sooner you experiment, the sooner you gain the information you need.

3. Replace update meetings with “huddles.” When we all gather in the conference room, meetings tend to take a bit longer than they need to. Yet, when everyone remains standing for a meeting, the gathering automatically gains a certain urgency that encourages speedy updates and a swifter return to doing.

4. Create testaments to progress by taking time to appreciate what you’ve accomplished. For example, create a wall of “to-dones” or use a project board to track each phase of a project, checking it off as you go.

We feel spurred to action when we remind ourselves that every little step makes a difference.

— Adapted from “5 Tips on How to Emphasize Action Over Inertia,” J.K. Glei, OPEN Forum.

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