In today’s ping-pong world of global teams and connections, zillions of emails, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, just keeping from falling off the treadmill can feel like success.
It might be worth checking, every now and again, how much time you spend being reactive or proactive, meaning:
- Reading things you’re copied on
- Responding to email threads
- Attending standing meetings
- Reading something “interesting” (article, etc) someone sent you
- Doing something your boss asked you to do
- Anything you do on Facebook or Twitter if you’re not there for a very specific reason (e.g. communicating with your customers)
- Initiating a conversation
- Reaching out to a customer
- Tweaking something to make it better
- Taking a mundane task and doing something surprising, or even beautiful, with it
- Sharing a crazy idea, and then get to work on it
The surprising thing isn’t that reactive outweighs proactive, the surprising thing is that we can go through a whole day doing nothing proactive at all and still feel like we’re working.
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Bonus: fun feature from The Atlantic Wire on Maria Popova’s (@brainpicker) media diet, with other links to the likes of Ann Coulter, Chris Matthews, Malcolm Gladwell, David Brooks, Chris Anderson, and many more.
All of them read like crazy, and all of them are very deliberate about delineating between what/when they read and what/when they produce.