Do you feel like your life is taking you over and you have less and less control over how your day goes? After all, we are faced with taking care of the kids so they are successful in school and in life; getting our work done so we please the boss and perhaps even get a raise or promotion; I’ve got to get to the store and pick up the things I forgot last time; the house needs tending to; I have deadlines quickly approaching; my spouse is obviously not happy with me right now. Do any of these sound familiar?
The things that you desire to do you don’t do. The demands that are being placed on you are stealing the fun and productivity from your life. The problem may be that you are doing too much, but more importantly you are probably living a reactionary life!
How to break free from a reactionary life!
A reactionary life is a life that is reacting to all of the demands that we face each day. Many of the demands placed on us are not really demands at all, but things that we react to that are stealing our time, energy and focus. Here are a few:
1. Reacting to unnecessary Email: Do you ever get email that has magically subscribed itself to you? Every day you seem to get the most recent special or “hot” item that is on sale. Maybe it’s an inspirational story that has made its way around the world and landed in your inbox. It has nothing to do with your life, but you take 10 minutes to read it. And, of course, if you don’t pass it on to others you will be guilty of not doing your good deed for the day.
Solution: Touch those useless emails one last time and unsubscribe using the link at the very bottom. Others…delete without reading! If you like these things, respond to important emails first, then react to the others on your break or lunch hour.
2. Reacting to your phone: Do you stop important tasks to jump to the phone that just made a noise telling you you have a new text, email, tweet or phone call?
Solution: Check the phone when you’re finished with what you’re doing. Complete the email…complete the page you’re reading…complete the project…complete the game with your kids or the conversation with your spouse. Don’t stop what you’re doing to react to a noise. It really is ok to allow people to leave you a message. It will be there when you’re done.
3. Reacting to the urgent: Is it really urgent for you or for someone else? Do you stop the necessary in order to react to the urgent? Some things are legitimately urgent, most are not.
Solution: Know the difference between urgent (crisis, emergency, deal breaker) and the necessary. Sometimes what seems to be urgent can wait an hour or a day so that you can complete what is necessary or get the exercise, rest or enjoyment that you deserve.
You can take your life back by ordering your actions and learning to respond to what is priority and necessary rather than trying to react to all the things that are invading your life.
Keep REACHING FORWARD for significance in your life by eliminating reactionary living. Live on purpose for a purpose!
How have you guarded against reactionary living?