I facilitate a personal development course at my work place called Steven Covey’s 7 Habits. The course covers what Dr. Stephen Covey refers to as the 7 habits that can unleash our most effective self. I strongly encourage you to research it online if you aren’t familiar with it, he has some very valuable insights. Habit #1 is Be Proactive. This is one area in my life that I am personally working on and wow is it a lot harder than I expected it to be. Ive learnt a lot throughout my experience so far and will share some useful tips later in this post.
Being proactive isn’t easy, but it can be!
It sounds so easy to just plan your week and schedule everything you need to get done. It also sounds so easy to just do it now versus waiting until tomorrow or next month or even next year.
The message here is simple, any amount of proactivity is better than none at all. I am constantly thinking about new ways to be proactive about how to achieve this. I have never thought this way before so it’s beginning to move in the right direction.
All throughout schooling and university I remember either cramming for an exam or pumping out a 2000 word essay the week (or day- lol) before it was due and the feeling was awful, stressful and exhilarated. Something about having a deadline approaching and being able to accomplish it right before the deadline is exciting but not conducive to your best effort. It can get the job done, but barely.
So the question I ask myself before starting anything now is, are you looking to simply do a good job? or are you looking to do a great job? I will not allow myself to settle for a good job any more.
So what can you do to be more proactive everyday?
1. Have a schedule – I know it sounds so cliche but it really works. Even in your mobile phone calendar go ahead and write a few things down you would like to accomplish that day and week. You are 90% more likely to get it done.
2. Do a GREAT job – Great work requires time, commitment and planning.
3. Create goals and targets – having a goal or a target can make being proactive happen without even realizing it. Make it fun. For example, I have a goal to drink 20 Starbucks coffees this month, I am positive I will accomplish that. (Too much fun?)
4. Have someone hold you accountable – tell someone important in your life about your new initiative or proactivity this will encourage you to work harder at it.
5. Reward yourself – Take time to reward yourself for your efforts, when you accomplish a big task on your schedule or exhibit great proactively go ahead and buy yourself something you enjoy. (for me its Venti Java Chip Frappuccino.