As we all try and achieve a good balance in our working lives between planning for the future and reacting to the present, few among us get it right all of the time. In fact many of us, truth be told, probably spend 9 out of 10 working minutes on reaction as compared to proaction. While in some instances that's necessary, long-term it's a recipe for personal and professional stagnation.

Great philosophy traditions over time have much to share with us on this topic, but suffice to say that one enduring theme around the challenge of allocating time is this, as quoted in the Tao-Te Ching:  "Plan for what is difficult when it is easy, and plan for what is great while it is small."

The root word there is plan--and as we know it's tough to plan if you're in danger, from a leadership perspective, of becoming a limitless reservoir of other people's expectations. Take the time to plan for the difficult and great in a way that makes doing it easier.

Clark Twiddy, President of Twiddy & Company, is the author of our Leadership Corner, published on our blog the third Tuesday of each month. He can be reached at