The way to eat an elephant is, of course, to take one bite at a time. With that in mind, have you ever taken a look at your projects or goals and thought, "How am I going to get this done?" The key to taking on a seemingly overwhelming project is by breaking it down into smaller, more achievable steps (or bites)—what we call Actions in Rhythm.
Actions are a sometimes misunderstood goal type, so I want to help clarify exactly what they are and how to best incorporate them into executing your plans.
To simplify, an Action identifies something that needs to happen (the What), who needs to do it (the Who) and by when it needs to get done (the When). This may sound similar to Priorities in Rhythm, but they have their own unique purpose and functionality. Rather than an ongoing project (like a quarterly Priority or Annual Initiative, for example), an Action is a single milestone or task within that project that keeps the momentum moving forward. Alternatively, it can be a follow-up to-do from a Meeting or a standalone item to you on track with other work.
Leading Indicator: If your project has an Action or next step planned, you are much closer to having that project have a successful outcome than if there are no next Actions identified. I've found that adding milestone Actions to your Priorities in Rhythm is a leading indicator of achieving success on that Priority.
Adding your Actions in Rhythm is a great way to collaborate with your team and add value to your Weekly Meetings. For example, if you status a Priority as Red one week, adding a Comment and an Action to get the Priority back to Green will help strengthen the conversation at your Weekly Meeting, and your team can offer help and suggestions based on that context.
Additionally, while running your Annual, Quarterly, Weekly, or other Meeting in Rhythm, you can directly track next steps that come out of that Meeting as Actions. This way, everyone in the Meeting understands what needs to happen next, by whom and by when—I'm sure I don't have to stress how easy it is to leave a Meeting without having those expectations clearly defined, and then at your next Meeting you realize nothing meaningful got done. It's unfortunately too common.
Speaking of expectations, I do want to suggest that you use Actions in Rhythm as a guide for milestones and next steps for your projects, but I don't necessarily suggest that you use them to capture all of your daily/weekly to-dos. You can download an Action to your calendar, and you can also adjust your Settings in Rhythm so that you get a weekly reminder email of the Actions you have due that week, but I wouldn't suggest getting too granular with your to-dos unless you're pretty diligent about logging into your Rhythm account and checking your Actions daily/weekly. Again, think of Actions more like milestones to move your projects forward.
If you have any questions about adding Actions in Rhythm or when to create an Action vs. a Priority, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance.
Additional Rhythm Systems Meeting Resources:
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