Taking pre-emptive action


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Strike while the iron is hot!

You’ve probably heard some of these proverbs and sayings before:

  • Strike while the iron’s hot
  • Haste makes waste
  • A stitch in time saves nine

Bottom line is that you’re being told to take action when the timing is right.  Procrastination and hesitation are habits that get in the way of taking action when it’s needed. What else happens?

Lots of times you might be really busy and just can’t take care of everything, so important work gets neglected. Other times, you might not know the best thing to do and so you put off making a decision. Or you might realize what’s needed but simply not feel like doing it because it involves unpleasant, expensive or inconvenient work.

This past week, one of my neighbors had their back slope clear cut, and a new fence installed. In this area, there are a lot of rodents (e.g., rats) that live for generations in the ground cover, mostly undisturbed.

As soon as I heard the buzz-saws and saw the workers cutting down shrubs and clearing away overgrown ivy, I knew that the hundreds (probably not an exaggeration) of rats who were used to calling that slope “home sweet home” would be evacuating and seeking new domiciles.  Namely: my own slope and the one on the other side of this neighbor.

Instead of waiting to see if I noticed an increase in rat activity in my own yard, I got more vigilant about setting the electronic trap. And got a rat every night since. Ugh. Not pleasant, and I’m sorry to kill any critter, but rats carry disease and can be a health hazard so I don’t want them near my home.

Meanwhile, for each rat killed, that prevents population growth (no doubt there’s a web site that could give us the statistic on how many rats over the next year, but you get the picture) and helps curb the problem.

I love analogies — as you already know if you’re a frequent visitor here — and I instantly thought of the parallel that taking a pre-emptive action is something we all can do in our regular lives, whether in business or in the home.  For example, if you notice a leaky faucet, you don’t have to wait to see the increased water bill to know that you’re wasting money (as well as a natural resource, clean water, that is in short supply). Instead, you take action right away to fix it. At the very least, placing a container to capture the water to use for other purposes instead of letting it go down the drain.

What ways do you take pre-emptive aciton in your life, and strike while the iron is hot?

your happiness guru,

Evelyn Brooks

Comments (4)

Jeannette Koczela

August 24, 2010

For me in my business, taking pre-emptive actions are like putting out fires. They are easier when smaller. That's my motivation. I have to be careful because they are usually the distractions that prevent me from current projects so it's helpful to allow a little extra time for "emergencies" that may arise and then be disciplined about getting back to the work at hand.

Jeannette Koczela

August 24, 2010

For me in my business, taking pre-emptive actions are like putting out fires. They are easier when smaller. That's my motivation. I have to be careful because they are usually the distractions that prevent me from current projects so it's helpful to allow a little extra time for "emergencies" that may arise and then be disciplined about getting back to the work at hand.

Evelyn Brooks

August 26, 2010

Oh those distractions - yikes they can suck up the whole day, can't they! You're so right about staying motivated. Thanks for sharing! :-) Evelyn

Evelyn Brooks

August 26, 2010

Oh those distractions - yikes they can suck up the whole day, can't they! You're so right about staying motivated. Thanks for sharing! :-) Evelyn

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