The Two Time Management Styles: Reactive vs. Proactive

What is your time management style? Do you react to external inputs and events? Do circumstances dictate how you spend your time? Or are you in control? Do you consciously plan your time? Do you tackle issues before they become urgent?

These mindsets can be categorized into two distinct time management styles: Proactive time management and reactive time management. Read on to learn which one is best and what tools you can use for it:

> Time Management Styles: Proactive vs. Reactive

The notion of proactive and reactive time management styles was popularized by Stephen Covey in his book “7 habits of highly effective people”. You might also have heard of Covey’s time management matrix from the same book. The matrix is a great way to visualize where proactive people should focus their energy on: Important but not urgent tasks.

Yet another related concept from Covey’s book are the circles of concern and circles of influence. They help to deal with the challenge that most of us cannot control everything. Being proactive does not mean that you can magically influence everything. Focus on the issues where you have agency – your circle of influence. The linked article discusses this in more detail and contains a video where Stephen Covey himself explains these concepts.