Did you know that over 30% of Canadians and 55% of Americans reported feeling significant stress in 2018? Everyone knows that stress is a massive problem in our modern society and the cause of many health issues people are experiencing.
While it’s probably impossible to eliminate stress from our lives, it’s definitely possible to reduce it to healthy levels. And when you do that, lots of other great things can happen 😊.
That’s why the one skill I want to talk about today is so critical for us to develop. Not only can it reduce your overall stress levels, but also allow you to move your business (and life!) forward in the direction you envisioned.
What is this, you ask?
If you are proactive, you make things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you. Active means “doing something.” The prefix “pro” means “before.” So, when you’re proactive, you’re ready to take action and matters in your hands, move forward, and prevent things you don’t want from happening. You’re in control of your journey.
On the opposite spectrum, being reactive is responding to things that already happened to you, i.e., “fire fighting.” In such a case, others and their priorities decide on the course of your business and very often life. No wonder this is stressful!
Our greatest danger is life is permitting the urgent things, to crowd out the important. – Charles E. Hummel
What Can You Do to Become More Proactive?
Firstly, have clarity on what’s important to you and your business. If you’re not sure how to start especially with your biz, this article can help you get going.
Secondly, learn how to distinguish important matters from the ones that may seem as such but really aren’t.
The most common distinction that can help is derived from so-called Eisenhower’s Matrix that Stephen Covey popularized through his writings.
The matrix divides things we do into four categories:
- Important & Urgent
- Important & Non-Urgent
- Non-Important & Urgent
- Non-Important & Non-Urgent
Lastly, proactive people prioritize the important non-urgent things and spend most of their time on them. The examples include business strategy planning, rest & relaxation time, building meaningful relationships in business and life, etc. Of course, they also spend time tending to urgent and important matters
What about the non-important issues then? Pro-active people manage these by delegation, outsourcing, if really necessary spending the minimum possible time doing them or simply not doing them at all.
Reactive people, on the other hand, spend most of their time in both urgent categories, getting exhausted by constant fire fighting. No wonder then that when they get a break from that, they end up spending on non-important very often mindless activities just to relax from all the stress.
Benefits of Being Proactive
There are many benefits to proactivity, and I’m sure that if you read thus far, you’ve already figured out most of them. Nevertheless, here is a quick point summary:
- Proactive people are less stressed;
- They have fewer fires to extinguish overall as the more time they spend on planning and making things happen, the less urgent and unexpected things happen for them;
- Proactive people achieve better long-term results in business and life. It’s because they focus on what’s important consistently this way making more with the time we all have in the same amount 24/7/365;
- They feel happier and more fulfilled as they spend time on what’s most important to them.
Start Now, Take On My Challenge
I’d like to challenge you today to start now and consciously take steps to become more proactive. Figure out what’s most important to you in your business and life and start spending more and more time on those things. At the same time slowly eliminate non-important stuff along the way.
All in all, you’re or can be in control of your time. How you spend it, determines how you balanced your life is overall.
And before you leave, I wanted to thank you for reading my article by preparing a downloadable tool to help you become more proactive. It contains a decision worksheet based on Eisenhower’s Matrix to help you prioritize plus 10 amazing tips to reduce daily stress and be more focused on the important! Click here to download the “Ultimate Guide to Reduce Your Stress & Increase Results.”