How To Become More Proactive
Being proactive doesn’t mean that you need to know everything that’s going to happen and plan for it. It means you plan for as much as you can and try not to get caught reacting. The difference between the two is like night and day. Reactive means that you weren’t ready for the circumstance and all of the sudden you have to react to it at a moments notice with no preparation. This kind of behavior usually leads to last minute decisions with no time for thought or putting things together.
Let’s face it, we are all reactive at some point or another. The problem is when you are so reactive thats all you do. Take the time to sit back and think about the last 5 stressful moments you’ve had. Think about if you would have had time to sit down for 30 minutes and prepare for each of them what would have been the outcome. Would you have handled it differently? How many deadlines have you missed or finished at the last minute? These kinds of behaviors are the ones that cause you to be more reactive.
Once you’ve identified the reactive behaviors you have then it’s time to do something about it. Below is a short list I made of some great tips to help you become more proactive starting right now.
How To Become More Proactive
- Start out small and move your way up to larger projects. If you have identified yourself as a mostly reactive person, then maybe it’s time to get started now. You could start out with something small like planning dinner and move up to more complicated things later on. If you start out to big you might lose focus and become lost before you finish. This could lead to even more frustration.
- Plan for the next day. One of the best tricks I could possibly think of to help you become more proactive is to plan out your next day. Before you go to bed at night set out all the things you need for the morning. Take the time to set out you clothes and lay out all the items you take with you to work or use in your day. Take the time to also plan out your workday/home-day and even what you want for dinner. Do this each day and you will find that it becomes easier and easier. Being prepared for the day ahead will make it much smoother and enjoyable.
- Learn effective time management techniques and apply them to your life. So many times have I tried to stay ahead of the game and in the end found out that my lack of proactive behaviors was due to running out of time. If you plan everything out perfectly and don’t have enough time to do it you will still end up being reactive and scrambling at the last minute. If you need some time management suggestion and advice read my other article on this topic.
- Learn to stop procrastinating and start doing things now. Nothing sets you up for failure more than waiting to the last minute to do everything. If you are planning on being proactive and you put everything off until the deadline, chances are you won’t get done and you will end up cutting corners and reacting to a lot of unplanned situations.
- No matter what try to stay one step ahead on everything!
- Spend time thinking about the future and plan ahead. Try to spend at least 5 minutes each day planning ahead for the next day, week, month, year, 10 years, etc. This planning will allow you the opportunity to think about possible outcomes and situations that you may run across. Plan for realistic scenarios and set aside enough time to make changes to your plan if you need to.
Take these tips and advice and start preparing right now to get things done and be ready for whatever it is life can throw at you. If you can’t be ready for everything at least try to make some improvements here and you will be glad you did. Good Luck!