How to be an action taker? – How to stop planning and start doing?

Are you a star when it comes to planning, but not so much when it comes to taking action? I can 100% relate to this because I have always been a planning superstar. But when it came to taking action, I was always too exhausted from all the planning. In this blog post, I want to share how I transitioned from a full-time planner to a balanced planner and action taker.

I believe that planning is essential to success – I am not degrading the importance of planning. But only plans and no action will not get you anywhere. Most of us get so caught up in planning that we do not leave time or energy for taking all the action that is required.

Today, I want to share 4 tips that have helped me be an action taker. After reading this blog post, you will finish the projects you have started, increase your overall daily productivity and get stuff done!

Have a productivity system

My first tip is without a doubt, to create and maintain a productivity system in your life. You are going to have to juggle between tasks, meetings, calls and projects every single day. Having a functional productivity system will help you manage your time, tasks and projects.

A productivity system is a combination of tools and planners that helps you manage your time, tasks and projects so as to improve your working efficiency.

Having a productivity system will minimize your planning time. You will always know how to approach planning your tasks and projects because of your system. A productivity system also keeps you accountable in the long run.

Plan with intention

This is the most valuable tip that you are going to get from this article. I do not play favourites when it comes to the content I share, but this one is an exception. Being intentional with my planning has been a game changer for my productivity.

Plan with intention simply means that you need to know what needs to be done, why it needs to be done and when. This is a great technique for prioritizing your tasks as well. When you are planning your day, knowing that the tasks that you will positively affect your life in some or the other way motivates you to actually go ahead and take action.

When you start planning with intention, you start choosing the projects that actually matter, say no to the tasks that do not align with your intention. If you want to start living an intentional life, here is your   

Planning Time Limit

If you are anything like me, you plan for love rather than for precision. That can get in the way of you being productive. If you plan for the love of it, you can spend hours and hours doing it because it seems fun!

That is exactly why I have started implementing a time limit on my planning sessions. I allow myself 15 minutes for daily planning, 45 minutes for weekly planning, 2 hours for monthly planning and a day or 2 for yearly planning. Being restrictive has helped me be more intentional with the allotted time.

Ever since implementing this time limit technique, I have realised that I can plan my day in 15 minutes if I want or I can take 60 minutes as well if not restricted. Try out this time restriction even though it seems harsh. It will seriously improve your productivity.

Have a review system

No movie is complete without a climax, similarly no productivity tip is complete without a review system! A review system will help you take massive action because –

  1. A review system keeps you accountable – it asks you ‘what did you do and what didn’t you do’ in a certain period of time
  2. If you haven’t taken any action, knowing that there will be a self review will guilt you into taking action
  3. It will also help you see what is working, what isn’t and what improvements should be done to your implementation

You can do such reviews or reflections as per your schedule and situation. You can review your actions daily, weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. I personally like to do it weekly. A weekly review is not overwhelming like a daily review, and keeps room for quicker improvement unlike a monthly review.

Suit yourself while setting up your own review system. You can include some reflective questions such as –

  1. Are you moving forward with your goals?
  2. What challenges are you facing?
  3. How can you improve yourself

And you should include some productive factual questions such as –

  1. What tasks / projects / goals were left incomplete?
  2. Why?

Doing this will help you take better action in the next time period and will hold you accountable. I personally use the GTD method as my productivity system and the GTD Weekly review Template to review my weeks.

GTD Image

These were some tips on how to be an action taker and not just an obsessive planner!Here are some other tips that I have shared on my instagram page. Follow along for daily tips and regular updates.