How to Be Proactive at Work

There is a reason being proactive is associated with success. People who play an active role in the workplace inevitably do the best and get noticed by their superiors. By learning to tackle tasks more easily and skillfully, you can be more productive, avoid pitfalls, and experience faster career growth. In this psychology article we present some tips that can help you know how to be proactive at work.

What is being proactive: examples of proactivity in a company

Being proactive means taking charge of your life . This means that you must make decisions and take responsibility for them and their consequences instead of taking a passive attitude as a mere observer of your life. Being proactive requires dedication and patience as you have to consider your options, weigh alternatives, and make your own decisions to achieve your goals. While a reactive behavior is influenced by the environment and external forces.

Example of being proactive

When a person is proactive they are continually thinking of alternative solutions to problems that may arise even before they arise. Therefore, a proactive person at work is capable of proposing solutions, new ideas and is capable of expressing his thoughts to others in order to improve each project.

How to be proactive at work

A "take command" mentality empowers the person who owns it, because it gives them a sense of control over their role, allowing them to balance multiple responsibilities without compromising the quality of their work. Do you want to know how to be proactive at work? So take note of these tips and habits to practice being proactive step by step .

1. Get organized

The key to being proactive is organizing, after all, you can't take charge of your responsibilities if you find yourself in complete chaos. This goes beyond just using a weekly planner and keeping your desk clutter-free. You will have to learn to prioritize tasks if you want to meet deadlines, which means being realistic about how much time you will need for certain tasks.

Rather than simply marking your calendar when a report or proposal is due, keep several important points in mind before the deadline so that you can manage your time effectively.

Another trick to being proactive at work is this: Consider writing a reminder two weeks, a week, and several days before an important date so you can stay on top of what needs to be done. Keep track of how long a task takes so you know how much time to delegate to a similar task in the future.

2. Think positively

Negativity will get you nowhere and will prevent you from reaching your full potential. Instead of focusing on what is not done, focus on what you have accomplished. Then make a list of goals for the next day. In this way, you are continually leaving room for improvement without feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your job.

Also, if you encourage always having a positive thinking , don't turn to negativity when something goes wrong. There is always an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, so if a problem arises, take the time to reflect on how you could have handled the situation differently. This allows you to avoid making the same mistake twice.

3. Actively participate

It may not be easy to talk, but engaging in the conversation is what separates leaders from their followers. By openly engaging with your colleagues and supervisors, you can influence the course of action and contribute to the solution instead of just reacting to it.

There is no doubt that you have recognized areas of opportunity in your workplace, and you probably have ideas on how to address them. Begin to record these notions as they arise, so when the opportunity arises at a company meeting, be prepared to come up with new ideas.

4. Be a problem solver

There is no reason to wait for problems to arise to solve them; instead, use self-reflection techniques to avoid potential problems altogether. Develop a detailed plan for projects in advance, including a checklist of the information or resources you will need to efficiently accomplish each task. Over time, you will be able to identify steps that are not necessary or can be shortened or consolidated. Always have an emergency plan in case unexpected challenges arise.

By planning ahead , you will be more prepared for the upcoming challenges. Are there natural cycles in your workflow that seem to lead to certain problems? Is there a way to bypass a roadblock by prioritizing a particular task differently? Asking yourself these questions will prevent you from feeling helpless when disaster strikes. Additionally, to be proactive, you can also learn to be more assertive at work .

5. Make decisions

It goes without saying that procrastination is not an option if you are working to realize your full potential. Don't get stuck and get stuck on too many details. It is important to take timely action.

Waiting too long to resolve a problem or address a conflict (or worse, not fully addressing it often means being left behind). Instead, learn to be decisive, even if you are not 100% sure whether you are taking the right or wrong path. If you mess up, you can adapt in the future, but for now, learn to trust your instincts and trust your abilities.

Dynamics of proactivity at work

Finally, to encourage a proactive attitude, as a boss or leader there are some things you can do to get your employees to be more proactive:

1. Create a culture of trust and empowerment

Managers must communicate that they support self-initiative and autonomy as well as collaboration. A good way to show this is to ask employees to brainstorm ideas, trust them to make decisions, ask them to do more at work, and allow them to take limited risks. If someone suggests a great solution, ask them to use it - and make sure their efforts are recognized , regardless of success or failure.

2. Start an idea challenge

Think about some of your business problems - maybe it's reducing health care costs, increasing sales, or simply reducing your energy bill. Instead of brainstorming in a conference room, give employees the opportunity through an Ideas challenge. Be transparent about the issue and explain what needs to be accomplished. And you can award the five best ideas, implement the best and reward the finalists by inviting them to a lunch with the executives.

3. Encourage telecommuting and flexible working hours

Let's be honest - you can try to help employees with work-life balance by offering something like a time management workshop , but what most employees need is simply more time. A 9-5 day may not be optimal for everyone, and some people are more productive working from home. When you focus on results and empower employees to work the way they need to, that trust and freedom allows them to be much more proactive.

4. Reward proactive healthy behaviors

Healthy employees are engaged, productive - and yes, proactive. But that means being just as proactive when it comes to your health. You encourage this by rewarding employees (with discounts on medical premiums, cash, gift cards, etc.) for things like getting well exams, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.