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Daily Action and the “I Must Research and Prepare More” Approach

Daily Action Fail #4: The “I Must Research and Prepare More” Approach

Welcome to Part 4 in my series on why most people fail when trying to use small daily actions to get things done. For your convenience, here is the intro to the series:

“Research shows that consistent, daily action, even just 15 minutes per day, will help you reach your goals faster, and is more fun and rewarding, too. People who work in short, daily sprints make more progress and are more creative than those who work in the occasional larger blocks of time.

And yet, people are not necessarily successful when they try this approach. I think this is a shame; everyone can use this technique to help them make steady progress on their VIPP — Very Important Procrastinated-On Project.

The thing is, most people go about this the wrong way. In this series of blog posts, I’m going to examine the reasons that people fail with small daily actions. I’ll also help you with concrete steps as to what to do instead.”

In this blog post, I’ll tell you about the “I Must Research & Prepare More” approach to small daily actions, in which you equate taking in information with making progress. I hope to convince you that producing something is much more important than thinking about producing it, researching how to produce it, or preparing to produce it.

Here’s what goes wrong with the “I Must Research & Prepare More” Approach 

When you believe that you’re not prepared to actually produce something, then you end up in a chronic state of “getting ready to be ready.” Also see my article, “How FONK — Fear Of Not Knowing — is blocking your business success

When you’re always not quite ready, It’s obviously a problem, because you don’t produce anything that will move you forward towards your goal. If you’re an author, you don’t write. If you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t work on an info-product, marketing materials, or social media, and if you’re a builder, you spend all your time researching the best bricks instead of building the house.

policeman with handcuffs

This negatively impacts the effectiveness of your daily activity. Instead of spending your 20 or 30 minutes focused on producing something, you spend it on more passive actions, like reading, studying, researching, watching a class video, etc. Passive action for your daily activity is a No-No.

I’m not really the Daily Activity Police, but right now I want to say, “Step awayyyyfrom that video. Put down that book you’re reading, ma’am. I don’t want any funny business. Unless you sit down and do focused actual work, sir, we’re going to have to continue this down at the station.”

Can you tell I’ve been watching too many murder mysteries?

What to do instead of the “I Must Research & Prepare More” Approach

Daily activity is exactly that – ACTIVITY. When you’re done, you will have produced something, no matter how small, how poorly done, how you’re going to throw it all away tomorrow.

It’s by actually doing that you start your neurons making new connections, and you become more creative and productive.

It’s not that reading, researching, studying, and other more passive activities are useless. Not at all. As a matter of fact, you can spend the rest of the day, after you do your Small Daily Action, on those activities. People are not resistant to doing those things, compared to how they avoid producing something.

When you create your short-term goals, make sure that they are about producing something and not just learning something. Spend those precious minutes of your daily activity on focused production, and you will be amazed at what you will start to create.


I suggest that you develop methods of reliably storing the information that you come across when you research. That way, you can stop your reading and research when it’s time for your Daily Action, knowing that you can retrieve it later.

For that purpose, I highly recommend Evernote. Stay tuned, because next week I’ll be introducing Charles Byrd, an Evernote Expert, who will be giving a free training on how to use this tool to free you up and get more done!


Do you recognize yourself in this description of perennially preparing to be prepared? Does it scare you to give up this approach, or does it excite you think of all that you will accomplish (or both)?

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