Are You Reactive or Proactive?

How to Gain Control of Your Time and Your Life

As an entrepreneur you are paid in direct proportion to how you use your time. You are not paid by how many hours you put in at the office. Rather you are paid on how effective you are at producing results. Period!

Most highly successful business people are absolutely ruthless with their time.

To produce at a higher level you must learn how to more effectively control your scheduled activities.

There are 260 work days in a year (52 weeks a year times 5 days a week) After subtracting vacation days and various holidays most people work about 230 – 240 days a year. Many successful entrepreneurs’, on the other hand, work only 180 – 210 days a year. That’s an extra six to eight weeks vacation each year. How do they do it? Simple really. They don’t confuse busy with productive. When they work they are focused like a laser beam on accomplishing what they need to accomplish. They don’t waste time and they don’t do things that don’t have a great return on their investment of time.

To more effectively manage your time you should learn to break your days into one of three components: personal days, production days or planning days.  Each of your 365 days a year should be planned doing one of these three things.

Personal Days: are days that are free of any work related activity. They are for relaxation, rejuvenation and enjoyment. Successful entrepreneur’s who have managed to get control of their business and their life enjoy as many as 150 – 180 personal days off each year.

Production Days: are the money making days. These days are jealously guarded for activities that are directly related to making sales and producing income. Successful entrepreneurs typically spend 120 to 150 days a year in production days. It is not so much a matter of how much time you spend but what results can be produced during these days.

Planning Days: are the days devoted to planning, preparation and organization. Successful entrepreneurs typically spend 30 to 50 days a year in these types of activities.

The key element in successful personal organization is control. There is a personal organization rule that states:You can either be part of your plan or by default you will become part of someone else’s plan. Failure to take control ensures that you will find yourself in a reactive mode where your whole life is a 911 experience. Failure to take control of your life produces poor results, physical and health related issues, anxiety and loss of peace of mind.

The first step to taking control of your life is to begin to plan you days and weeks by assigning each day of your life as a personal day, production day or a planning day and to keep your commitment to do only those things that are related to that day. In other words, don’t mix production and planning days together. Use the principle of focus to only work on things that are part of that day.

Taking control of your life results in increased rejuvenation, productivity and preparation. Those who organize their time according to the personal, productive, planning day’s concept experience a peace of mind that comes from having enough time to do the things that are important in their lives. They also experience the freedom of letting go of the unimportant and trivial things that most people seem to get hung up on and they experience an increased sense of control and confidence that comes from living a proactive life.

More free days leads to an increase in rejuvenation, energy, creativity and sense of well being. Production days lead to an increase in productivity by being able to accomplish twice as much in half the time. Planning days lead to simplicity and efficiency that provides peace and serenity that comes from having one’s life planned.




I don’t mean to sound ignorant…there are many things that are a part of my role that may or may not fall into production. Do you have an outline or guide as to how to place the proper things in the proper days? Personal is pretty obvious.

Dub Stearn

A great newsletter as I’m formulating my plans for this year.
Dub Stearn

Ralph Argen

Steve your time priorities: Personal, Productive, Planning awakened me what Peter Drucker taught me: to be effective we must manage time not tasks. As he puts it: “Know Thy Time: Change from that of a transactional task manager to a time manager. Seeing your day not as a series of tasks, but as time allocated to tasks is the only way to take control of your time and your life. See “Get Organized-Know Thy Time!” at

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