On the podcast, Josh said he advises his executive coaching clients, to be relentlessly proactive as opposed to reactive, in their daily work.
For me, being proactive means: to do things on your terms – limiting distractions – and moving life forward in accordance with your own internal instincts and principles.
I completely believe, that this is the mindset of an effective person, who is able to define his own destiny. Therefore, something worth aspiring to.
With this post, I would like to discuss a few of my favourite strategies, for enabling one to lead a more proactive, and undistracted life:
Your most important stuff first
A simple way of getting your most important stuff done, and thereby work proactively, is simply to do it before anything else. Do your stuff, before checking email, or other tasks, that may grab your attention for the next few hours. This will ensure, that you’ll get some proactive work done, no matter what else happens that day.
Pay attention to what is grabbing your attention on a regular basis. It might be, that your work process can be optimized a little. Maybe you get notifications on your computer or phone, which can easily be turned off. Maybe you are using some forms of communication that you should simply opt out of, because they solely work as distractors, and add no value. If so, you might need to delete a few apps from your smartphone – easily fixed.
Distractions are attention robbers and thereby the opposite of proactiveness.
Remember, distractions can come in many other forms, than just notifications from technological gadgets.
Mindfulness/meditation is dedicated time, to listen to what is going on inside yourself. And in order for you to act according to your inner instincts, you need to know intimately about them.
With a mindfulness practice, you get a better sense of where you want to go and why. That means, you will be better aware of, how exactly you should apply your newfound proactiveness.
Well-defined values and principles
Again, having a clear sense of direction is important. Otherwise, you can’t know, in which way you should be proactive. I have literally sat down, and written out my personal values and principles, to make it clearer to myself, how I want my life to go.
How you choose to define your life’s purpose and overall goal, is up to you. The important thing is to know, what you should to apply the proactiveness to.
Time for thinking
More of the same stuff. Being proactive means, to be clear and deliberate about where you want to go, and where you are at the current moment. A great and simple drill can be to take dedicated time to seriously think, and stop >doing< all the time. Sometimes, we all do a lot of stuff, that doesn’t help us achieve our highest ambitions. It is therefore massively important to stop from time to time, to think and plan the few moves ahead, to ensure that our energy is applied correctly.
Being an essentialist.
Even more of the same stuff. Time is precious, and cannot be wasted on anything. As a relentless pro-activist, you also must become an essentialist, which means you must say no to the superfluous. Read the book Essentialism to understand this concept.
Thank you for reading.