What is your Next Right Thing?

Today I hopped on a video chat with Sebastian Ruf, my partner in improv crime over at improvinaction.com to talk about our plans for the next season of our podcast and the troubles I was having with getting in the right head space for Season Two.

Over the course of our conversation, we broke down my errors in thought so that we can deal with each:

#1 – Future Thought Prohibits Present Action

I was spending so much time in future thought about the project that I was not being present in the project.

#2 – Analysis Paralysis

I was spending so much time thinking about all of the aspects of the work that I wasn’t actually doing the work. I was analyzing and then freezing, with no action being performed.

More from the Todoist blog. 

Psychologist Barry Schwartz coined the phrase “Paradox of Choice” to describe his consistent findings that, while increased choice allows us to achieve objectively better results, it also leads to greater anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction.

Rather than empowering us to make better choices, our virtually unlimited access to information often leads to greater fear of making the wrong decision, which in turn leads to us spinning our wheels in a seemingly inescapable purgatory of analysis paralysis, all the while getting nowhere on our important projects.

#3 – Sunken Cost Fallacy

I was paying so much attention to how much money and effort we have already put into the project, that I was putting pressure on the project itself to meet a potentially unrealistic benchmark.

More on Sunken cost from You Are Not So Smart.

Imagine you go see a movie which costs $10 for a ticket. When you open your wallet or purse you realize you’ve lost a $10 bill. Would you still buy a ticket? You probably would. Only 12 percent of subjects said they wouldn’t. Now, imagine you go to see the movie and pay $10 for a ticket, but right before you hand it over to get inside you realize you’ve lost it. Would you go back and buy another ticket? Maybe, but it would hurt a lot more. In the experiment, 54 percent of people said they would not. The situation is the exact same. You lose $10 and then must pay $10 to see the movie, but the second scenario feels different. It seems as if the money was assigned to a specific purpose and then lost, and loss sucks.

New Focus: The Next Right Thing

If I focus on making the best podcast possible, I am doing what I can do to reach a goal of greatness. Anything else is wasted wheel spinning. I need to focus on what the next right action would be to create the next best episode.

What is keeping you from your next best action?

 Photo by Alexey Ruban on Unsplash

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