by Dr. Cindy Briggs
Have you ever had those days… it goes from one thing to another? You are are putting out one fire, and then suddenly you are overwhelmed with something else? It can be so exhausting, and I think most entrepreneurs have found themselves in this quandary before.
There are times when we have to react to things… when we honestly didn’t see it coming. That should be the exception, NOT the rule. In business (and life) we have to really use critical thinking to look ahead and have insight into things that could happen. That allows us to live more proactively. We get to control the narrative more, and not let circumstances derail us.
Let me give you an example from one of my business coaching clients. Mary came to me after several negative reviews about her scheduling practices.She was frustrated because she was trying to chase after these reviews to make things better (which isn’t the bad part). My question to her was this… what are you trying to do to ensure that there aren’t these negative reviews. She said there was nothing she could do to stop people giving negative reviews…. but I told her to think about the problem. The problem was not the negative reviews– it was the scheduling practices. We then started to come up with a solution to that… and once implemented the negative reviews stopped.
This was a proactive solution. The reactive is waiting for the negative reviews, being shocked, and then trying to “fix” those. We just need to plan ahead.
In this week’s episode of The Business Professor Podcast with Dr. Cindy Briggs, I discuss how we can move from a reactive lifestyle to proactive even in our personal lives. With a little planning, and some patience, you are able to stop just putting out fires and start working on the things that matter.
Let me give some very solid suggestions to get started:
- Find a calendaring system that works for you. Online. Paper. Whatever is one that you will stick with (don’t be caught up in just doing what others do). Also, don’t say you can just remember…. part of a proactive life is taking charge of you time.
- Anticipate what you can. For example, you know that you need to have dinner each night for your family… so plan out the dinners in advance. You know that each Friday you need to have a blog post done for your business– put that writing time in your calendar (and stick to it). That way you aren’t running around crazy on Friday morning trying to get it done. If you put the things down that you CAN anticipate… you are able to have time to deal with the things you can’t anticipate.
- Slow down. Seriously… take a breath. Don’t try to run from thing to thing…. it is OK to tell your customers/clients that you just need a minute. Don’t schedule things back to back… build in time on that calendar.
- Find your support AND ACCEPT IT. Y’all… .we are all bad about accepting help. I hear people offer to help so much and we say, “no, I’ve got it.” There is no award for trying to be a martyr. Accept the help with a smile and gratitude. Part of the reason we can’t always accept help is because of the fires we are trying to put out and we don’t even know where we need help!
Our world has made our lives more frantic. We try to do more. Make more. Get more done. That can be OK and as an entrepreneur many times it is valid; however, YOU have control of your life (even when you think you don’t). YOU can make these decisions to help things run more smoothly.
Take action today on one of the items above and see if it helps even a little. Also, be sure to listen to the PODCAST episode for even more.
Dr. Cindy Briggs is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, college professor, wife and mom. Her mission is to provide programs that can help entrepreneurs and communities thrive. To find out more, visit www.cindybriggsphd.com.