Most knowledge workers spend their day doing one of three things:
React (badly) to external situations
Respond (well) to external inputs
Initiate new events or ideas
If I were to review my day's sent-mail folder and the conversations I have had on the telephone, it would all be in response to a request. Some reasonable - and within my locus of control. Some are outside my circle of influence - and that's OK. That means, it's not mine to worry about.
According to Seth Godin, the third - initiating new ideas or events - are to be done in the quiet. When the mind is perhaps in a less reactive, less-responding mode. And it is probably true: one can't start something remarkable unless one takes a step back - breathe - and just chill.
At least for me, I get my best ideas whilst walking to and from lunch. When I am away from my desk and good old PC. The hypotheses and the questions and the potential answers and techniques all come rushing through as soon as I leave the office for a break.
And the things that I initiated today? Hmmm. A proposal for a business dev project (which took me half a day to compose). An RFP to at least three suppliers. Another RFP and brief to another partner. And a one-pager summary of something that I have been working hard on.
Will these initiatives still be there tomorrow? I don't know. Things change. Time flies. And tomorrow - either I will react or I will respond to the situations.
But one thing's for sure - there's more where those came from.
If only I could take a step back and chill.