Time Management - Are You Proactive or Reactive?

Why do so many people put off what they need to do today? You can find the answer in the way you choose to live your life, proactive or reactive. The Good Life Rules are all based on living a better life both at home and at work. Until you change to a proactive lifestyle from a reactive lifestyle, you will always blame procrastination. Don’t get me wrong; many people suffer from procrastination and it can steal the Good Life from you.

So what are the keys that allow you to live a proactive life?

First key: Remove guilt. You were not born with a reactive mentality. You learned it over years of making mistakes, setting goals and not accomplishing them, or not setting goals at all. I once heard a person say “Guilty feelings are circular, but you need to move in a straight line with one foot in front of another.” Small steps can lead to giant gains and that is exactly what you can do to counteract all the guilt.

Second Key: Don’t get distracted. Never before has the human race had more distractions in their daily lives. It is important to realize that if the world keeps you distracted, you will not stop and think. If you don’t think before making your choices, you will continue to make mistakes; you will continue that reactive mentality and continue to blame your failures on all the distractions in your life. Once you understand why the distractions are in your life, controlling them gets easier. It is very important to create an environment that is more serene. You can escape to a tranquil mental setting by eliminating or minimizing noise and distractions, ensuring you have adequate lighting, and most importantly, living by one of my favorite sayings, “If you’re not in a hurry, don’t act like you are.”

Third key: Exercise. Those of you who feel fatigued and you just can’t get around to doing what you have to do, exercise! Ironically, when you are most tired and feel a lack of energy, exercise will provide a boost, raise your endorphins, and oxygenate the brain to think more clearly in your day to day choices. The key word is “think.” I know from personal experience—exercise promotes focused attention.

Fourth key: The Good Life has two major components: recognizing your gifts and taking action to bring them to fruition. As great as it feels to be able to see some of the important ideas that come into your head or heart for what they are—life-changing opportunities—that’s only one part of the puzzle. You’ve got to do something about them. And to me, a 48-hour time period is the perfect framework for taking action, because it gives you time to prepare yourself, but not enough time to procrastinate. So, always remember The Law of Diminishing Intent: what comes to your heart, you must act on it within 48-hours, or the world will distract you or steal it from you.

My wish every day is that I can find the words and energy to remind you that you are a “somebody,” not just an “anybody.” Somebodies are more proactive than reactive. Anybodies are more reactive than proactive. Somebodies understand that it is our choices that determine the course of our lives. To change our current course to a better life, you have to stop and think about your choices. To do so will change your philosophy, not your circumstances. Somebodies always take advantage of their circumstances created by their right choices.