Reflective vs. Reactive Work

We spend most of our days on reactive work. We should be spending it on reflective.

Reactive work is the stuff we respond to. 

The emails, the Slack messages, the text messages, the phone calls. 

It requires attention now, or at least that’s what’s implied.

Reactive work is satisfying. It gives us a little rush to help someone out or to solve a problem.

But reactive work is rarely as important as it seems.

Reflective work is where important work gets done.

Evaluating long-term strategies, gaming out the options for a big decision, or writing out an argument: this is all reflective work.

Reflective work is hard and it’s uncomfortable, so we avoid it. We distract ourselves with reactive work to avoid the discomfort.

But reflective work is where real progress comes from.

Reflective work is short-term thinking. 

Reactive work is long-term.