Proactive vs Reactive
Today’s topic of discussion has become increasingly common in my social circle; controlling time, being controlled by it and how it becomes a proactive or reactive thing. What I have noticed is that poor planning, shaky preparation and inept structure is guided by what’s going on around you in terms of time, information, and people. You end up in the backwater constantly because poor planning results to poor time management.
If you have a task to be completed by a certain date, then you slide it up to the day before your deadline, you will not have sufficient time to work on it and deliver quality work. There are elements of a task that need consideration e.g. working with 3rd parties to get information that is detrimental to your assignment. These people have their own schedules and they will definitely put your requests according to the priority of their work. You will be guided by both the task period and by third parties, waiting being the only thing that could work for you, hence the situation becomes reactive.
If you carried out this task early enough, obtaining required information/resources, then you can calmly plan yourself, with an inclusion of what time the third party may need. Having early control of your task gives you the upper hand to create a proactive work environment.
Here are some examples of times when I have been can be proactive instead of reactive from previous posts that I shared with you. :
- My trip abroad
- Customer meetings
- Sales reports and figures
- The refrigerator
- Vehicle inspection
Planning ahead saves your time and financial status, creating a better image for you. Lost time results to lost money and trust.
Manage your time, documents, information and if your position warrants you, the people around you so you are not ruled by these things. Remember that development requires change, hence, you need to pull up your pants and start managing all this vital resources carefully. Start controlling instead of being controlled.
I sat down with a friend sometime back who was controlled by his environment (time, task, third party persons). He talked about the way he would end up in the backwater on some tasks because his resources, especially those that involved other people, ended up being more frustrating than helpful. He intimated how counter-productive he had become. My words for him, from experience of course, were as I have explained above; becoming more proactive and planning ahead instead of relying on the environment to show results of your work.
Please don’t mistake the above as an excuse not to work under pressure. Working under pressure will always yield fantastic results if you manage your time right. I mean, working under pressure can also be proactive, if you plan appropriately. Develop a proactive mind-set and you will see how your work, professionalism will progress.
It’s all about Attitude and Approach!
The question remains: do you want to be in control or to be controlled?
Let me know in the comment section below, or drop me an email.