What’s Next?

Find a moment to figure out your next move

Be proactive here.

This post is much more active than usual.

What is your next move? Take it as a prompt to stop, whatever you are doing, and think about what’s next.

Take advantage of this moment to respond and not react.

If you want to, feel free to tell me (adam@theadamthomas.com) or Instagram it (@thehonorableat).

Simple Action Before Investment

Would you ever buy a house before visiting it?

Who would?

When it comes to hobbies and activities, we do the same type of thing all the time.

We will tell ourselves that we need a new computer to write or new shoes to run when these things are difficult at all.

If you are reading this, between you and Google, you have the tools to do almost anything for free, now.

Before you invest in anything, do something small first.

Write two sentences a day before buying that website.

Walk around the gym before you get those new shoes

See if you can sit in on that workspace before you get that year-long subscription.

A simple, short-term investment can save us a lot of headaches.

What is Your Next Action

What’s Next?

Is it a call, text, or an email? Do it.

Does your stomach hurt when you think about it? Do it.

Are you worried about what other people will think? Do it.

Most of the time, it isn’t that we don’t know what the next thing is, it’s that we are unsure if we are fit for the job.

You are.

Just Execute for Now

Sometimes taste means not offering direction

Starting a new job or project is exciting.

You want to start applying your taste right away.

One of the ways to do that is to give direction.

“This isn’t how this works; let me show you how I do it.”

It’s tempting. You’ll get to show off your “ability.” While it seems all well and good, you could shoot yourself in the foot when you do this.

Remember, as a new person in a role or position, you lack context. Consequently, it takes some time to understand what’s happening around you.

So, take a moment, and engage with the world around you.

For now, just listen and execute.

Don’t execute that grand new plan, not yet. You’ll eventually get there.

Deadwood and Scabs – Action is the Master

You Scab. It is a part of life.

As a leader, you deal with both deadwood and scabs.

We come from a lifetime of “unfair,” “disappointment,” and “expectation.” These things create deadwood over our growth.

“Action” is your fire to clear them out.

So if you tend towards action, you are more likely clearing deadwood. We don’t win all the time.

We don’t win all the time. 

Every time we make mistakes, we “cut and burn” ourselves. This creates a scab.  We make mistakes. Through them, we learn how to distinguish which is which.

Let the scab heal, and get back to business.

The good news is the more reps you get, the stronger the instinct becomes.

The human mind is very adaptive. We figure things out.

Chances are, there is a lot of deadwood to clear.

Get to work.

A Look at a Task Focus and an Action Focus

Yesterday I discussed the “Hill Problem.”

The problem tackles how to get up the highest hill in a set of hills.

I put the issue in the Mission(goal)-Task(project)-Action(next step) framework and explained the reason a mission focus mattered.

There are consequences if you put that focus elsewhere.

Task focus:

The important part  – The Hill.

Whatever hill you find yourself facing now is “necessary.”

Great if you pick the right hill, but disastrous if it isn’t. Just focusing on the Hill is time-consuming.

Action focus:

The important part  – The step.

When you put energy in how each level feels, you have a metric to figure out how to go ahead.

The difficulty of each level affects your next decision, and you dwell there. You think about the step before, and the test after, and pretty soon, you’re carrying far more than your baggage.

It might be the completely wrong hill.


Figure Out What’s Next!

We are here, but what now?

The two-minute rule is fantastic. 

It means nothing if you can’t figure out the process’ next step. 

Use this exercise to help guide you through making the next move.


  • Write out your goal. [mission]
    • Example: I want to eat.
  • Write out a task that moves that goal forward. [task]
    • Example: Make Breakfast
  • Write out the actions associated with the “task” work. [action]
    • Example:  Walk to the kitchen, get bowl, pour cereal, add milk

The Mission, Task, Action Framework is a quick heuristic to find out what you can make the “next step” to carry out the two-minute rule. Later this month, we will talk about this framework at length.

Happy 4th of July :-).