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Tips on how to be more Proactive than Reactive in the Workspace

Discover the power of proactive work habits for business success. In our latest blog post, we share key strategies to shift from reactive to proactive, boosting productivity and focus. Learn how to identify revenue-generating activities, declutter your environment, and streamline systems. Find out the three keys to being proactive and take control of your time management. Business coach Helen Corban provides expert insights.

In business, there is often the challenge of working “on” the business not just “in” the business. What is the key to make that switch? To being proactive? Business is not just all about making money to a lot of people, though to sustain and grow any business we need consistent revenue. To stay in the proactive space, we need to identify all revenue-generating activities, and do them on a regular basis. Do you know the exact activities that drive your business forward? That bring in income. That provides the growth to your business. In a challenging market environment like what we are all experiencing at the moment, your focus needs to be very clear. It is so easy to be distracted by all the noise and clutter surrounding us. We lose our ability to focus when there are so many conflicting priorities, and this impacts on productivity. Reduce the noise by constantly reflecting, reviewing and keeping things simple as we tend to overcomplicate what we need to do. In other words - clear the clutter. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter, which means our focus is compromised. Look at the foundation of your business, your systems and processes. Are you set up so you can focus on those activities to move your business forward? Have you automated as much as you can? What can you delegate or outsource? If you are working in the proactive space, the reactive time consumed will naturally reduce.

3 keys to being proactive:

  1. Decide the key activities that will move you and your business forward.

  2. Schedule them first into your Calendar – during the day/peak hours of your business. Be realistic about how long it takes to do those activities.

  3. Reduce the reactive time by negotiating uninterrupted time for you to work on your priorities. Even 1 hour without your phone ringing or being interrupted can make a big difference.

Time management is a myth. We can’t manage time; we can only manage ourselves and our behaviours. Make good choices and become aware of your habits. Do they help or hinder you? For example, perfectionism. We can end up waiting and waiting until everything is just perfect – sometimes “good is good enough – just get started”. Sometimes we need to give ourselves the “gift of time”, step back and organise our businesses and lives in a different way. Say no, cut back on commitments and delegate (if you have that choice). Regular planning is absolutely crucial. Business and Leadership expert John C. Maxwell says, “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”


Helen Corban is a Business Coach specialising in organisation talent development and effective time management.

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