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Want to be more productive? Change the way you run your day.

focus goals less stress productivity Mar 26, 2021

Have you ever spent a morning or a day or a week in reactive mode and then found yourself upset with Past You for not getting certain things done?

I feel like I’ve been sprinting all week… lots of phone calls and appointments and driving people and animals to places… whew! When my schedule looks like this, it’s easy to get into reactive mode and just respond, react, check, reply, see who needs me/is on fire….

On Friday morning, after a full week of sprinting, my phone was blowing up with messages and my inbox was full and I found myself falling into that old pattern, so I stopped and asked myself an important question….

Who’s in charge around here?

Seriously, Mel… who is running this show? Is it you or your inbox? Is it YOU or your text messages?

When I used to ride on my college’s Equestrian Team, the coach would shout from the center of the arena…

COACH: Mel, who’s in charge? You or [insert horse’s name here]?

MEL: I’m in charge.

COACH: Then act like it!

On Friday, I had to be my own coach and ask and answer…

Who’s in charge?


Then, I took a deep breath and figured out what I needed to do that WASN’T reacting to everything coming at me.

Reacting is easier than acting.

Here’s the thing about reacting… we do it because it’s easier. It’s much easier to check your inbox than to write new words in your manuscript. It’s much easier to check text messages than to exercise or plan your day. It’s much easier to check social media than to start doing the hard work that moves the needle and helps you become 5-Star Future You.

Reacting is easier than deciding.

Sometimes we (or is it just me?) end up in reactive mode when we aren’t sure what to do next. Maybe we’re starting the day or the first hour after lunch with empty space and rather than asking, “What does Future Me need me to do next?” we ask, “What does Facebook need me to do next?”

Reacting is easy… and it takes your ownership away.

If you don’t accomplish your priorities, you can always say…

“Well… I would’ve but other people needed me.”

“I couldn’t work on [insert important project] because I had too many fires to put out.”

“I ran out of time.”

Reacting is easiest for Present You, but it’s rarely best for Future You.

Have you ever spent a morning or a day or a week in reactive mode and then found yourself upset with Past You for not getting certain things done?

This is what I mean… non-stop reacting is rarely what Future You needs you to do.


Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. When you start feeling a lot of pressure or overwhelm or you find yourself uncertain of what to do next….

When you find yourself getting deep into reactive mode, ask yourself:

Who’s in charge? Me? Or my inbox/my kids/my pets/my phone?

You’ve got this!



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