It is one of these things that it will take a little bit of time and effort and at the end you feel satisfied to have achieved it and then you can enjoy it.
When thinking about what to do there are different ways to decide it. There could be goals on the long term that require objectives to be achieved in the short term and actions on a daily basis.
There could be things to do that are more urgent and important or less urgent but even more important (or those other ones that can distract us that are urgent but not important or event neither urgent nor important).
Pareto´s law help us to think about the actions that produce a bigger impact. The 20% effort that produces 80% outcome, the 20% of clients that buy the 80% of our products and services, the 20% of customers will account for the 80% of profit, the 20% of products will generate the 80% of income... more or less.
How to combine thinking and doing? It can happen that somebody likes thinking about things but does not advance very often (paralysis analysis), or the opposite: somebody that like pushing the things forward without stopping too much to think. There is a very interesting video (in Spanish language) that highlights the importance of discipline ("The discipline sooner or later will beat the intelligence"). Son of a Colombian and a Japanese, is a very interesting person to compare the two cultures.
Trying to become a more active person, I think it could be useful to implement the simple habit of questioning my actions. There are always a potential long list of "to do" things. However, often we overlook which is the thing to be done that produce the biggest impact. Usually we do the things that are urgent or easy, but delay the ones that are more uncomfortable. That´s why usually is recommended to divide the "heavy" activities into simple steps that are less challenging. "What is the smallest step I can do?"asks Leo Babauta. He suggests to link new habits to other activities we already do. This new habit can be started by planing it to be done in a very small period of time, so that it seems easy to start. It make sense that it is easy and motivating to do something that is going to take a couple of minutes... and then, once you have started you feel like doing it during a bit more time... feeling happy with your achievements. You can read a very interesting blog post on "Sticking to a Habit"
James Altucher suggested to write 10 ideas every day, what seems to me an easy habit with great benefits.
Should habits or goals direct your life? Should you focus on achieving goals or in implementing good habits in your life (an eliminate the bad ones)? "It depends" Click the link to read an interesting article about it.
When you think about actions that can create changes in your life, which are the ones that can be executed in one day? There is some special sense of achievement and satisfaction in completing things. Some times I have done things that once finished (or almost finished) make me feel great. Even if later I can improve them. This Action man can be combined with the ideas man in a very useful way. All of us we can have both sides. It is interesting working with complementary people that together can dedicate time to think and act. At the same time, when making decisions after generating ideas to improve any business, it can be useful to decide which actions that are easy to be implemented and with the greatest impact.
Iron man is a movie that combines very well an action man with an ideas man.
"Don´t work harder, work smarter"
Don't just "work smart", work smart on the right things.
Work less using the 80/20 rule
Pareto principle, energy and this modern life: