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Being Proactive vs Reactive

Most great leaders are calm and take things in their stride. Rarely are they seen running around like headless chickens. Yet, most managers seem to be constantly running around putting out fires. What would it look like if those managers instead focussed on being great leaders? If this sounds interesting, try the following steps to start being more proactive rather than reactive.

Step 1
Take stock of what you are busy with all day every day. We recommend a journal that for 1 week, that you update at least every hour. A one-liner is all you need. Try and be more specific than a generic “admin”.

Step 2
Set aside one hour after this week to look at your journal. Place each of your tasks into the appropriate quadrant below. Think deeply about what value really means to you and your business.


Step 3
The items in quadrant 1 are great, you want to do more tasks like this. The items in quadrant 2, you want to look at in more detail and try and reduce the time they take without removing any value. Is there something you can automate? Or simplify?

Step 4
The items in quadrants 3 and 4, you want to get rid of. They are adding little if any value. What would happen if you stopped doing them? Can you delegate them? If they are needed – how can you make them more valuable?

Step 5
Do this exercise every month or so, you’ll be amazed at how many non valuable things creep onto your list. Set aside time, at least 4 hours a month, to improve your processes and remove non valuable clutter from your to do list.

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