Reactive vs. Proactive Work
Although people don’t usually view it in these terms, work is a practice. In that way, it’s just like golf or yoga.
You experiment with your technique — tweaking here and there in the quest to find out what fits, what feels good, and where you can improve.
Use it or Lose It
Just like an athlete, you run into trouble when you get complacent. Imagine what would happen if a marathon runner went from running 20 miles to running only 2. Before Ms. Marathoner would know it, she would be too out of shape to perform the way she used to or the way she might really want to. Working, like marathon running, is like any other skill.
Whether it is the debate team, track team, service event, early times in a new business or just something you believed was possible, it doesn’t matter. We have a choice, an ability to commit in a way we might not have for years.
If you don’t practice it and continue brushing up on good technique, tactics, and motivators, then you will lose it.
Challenge Yourself to Work Differently
Give yourself the time to do the parts of your work that are most important, essential, thought provoking, and revenue generating. Act on your most important projects and ideas first, so that you can put the best (most creative, most energetic) parts of yourself into your real work.
Spending your work day hitting refresh on your e-mail account will keep you trapped in a cycle of reacting to the needs and requests of others.
Develop your big ideas and projects before you dip your pinkie toe into the e-mail abyss. Give yourself permission to put good time into your best ideas without the distraction of reacting and responding to the requests of others.
I’ve been using this pretty darn simple advice and passing it along to others for a long time now.
I was reminded of how important it iswhen I read a great article in 99% called “The Key to Creating Remarkable Things.” It’s worth a look.