For the ancient Greeks virtue was earned by action. Action came from inspiration. Intuition was our soul guiding us through the process. Intuition is the tension between thought and action, it’s the area between what “feels right to do” and what you think needs to be done.
When it comes to deciding what to do next, we usually already know the answer, our “gut feeling” or our “heart’s desire” guides our steps through our daily tasks and eventually gives us the energy we need to complete tasks.
The problem is that our perception may be skewed because we have our own selfish needs. We tend to focus on the next easy thing instead of the task we really should be doing. By structuring our behaviors based on set rules, we can become more productive.
David Allen (the author of Getting Things Done, the art of stress free productivity) explains that you make your immediate next action choices based on four criteria – Context, Time available, Energy Available and Priority.
Based on these 4 criteria, ask yourself the following questions in this specific order and check if it’s exactly what your “gut” told you to do…
#1 Add Context to use your intuition better
In the location I’m in and with the tools I’ve got, what can I do next?
#2 Don’t forget time available
How much time do I have before I’ll need to do something else?
#3 Energy Available…
Does my energy level match the amount of effort I need to invest in the task ahead?
#4 And of course – Priority!
Out of all my remaining options, what is the most important thing to do?
After answering these questions (with all honesty and without avoiding tasks that seem like too much work), you will usually find that you knew the answer to your “what’s my next action” dilemma all along!
These questions are actually the intuition that drives our next action, broken down to the sum of its four parts.
We know what needs to be done; we just don’t trust our instincts because of the clutter of our thoughts. Often, the guilt adds up and brings us to a point of in-actions, leaving us feel worse!
So, get it out of your head and clear your thoughts to focus on what should be your next action.
As I explained earlier, intuition is there to guide our actions but there is a lot we can do to help so we can hear our intuition loud and clear.