Let me show you first what the dictionary says about both:
- Serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one.
- Having the power of producing; generative; anticipatory.
See the difference?
Let me explain you my point, by being productive you produce.
By being proactive you plan, intervene, control and react.
This is mandatory before producing.
This week I want to share this with you as I recently realized how we often confuse being productive with something positive. It is not necessarily positive.
We often stretch ourselves until the limit to run, run, run and produce, produce and produce, services, products, projects etc.
By doing so we are focusing on the quantity not on the quality.
From my personal opinion and understanding, proactivity gives a necessary positive result, as you have to first understand the context, react to it, adapt to it and then take action.
It involves analysis first, and action as a second step.
Productivity involves action, but not necessarily previous analysis.
Applying this to professional outcomes may change your work-life balance. It may be the difference between “running without direction” or “walking with a purpose”.
I encourage you to do this trial: during a day, just one day, focus in proactivity rather than just being productive.
Focus on spending time in analyzing each situation and after you have the big picture, take the right action.
Replace those areas where you are required to “produce” and give alternative better solutions to resolve the problem.
By doing this you will become proactive.