Rearrangement Can Help

By Zig Ziglar

June 7, 2017 3 min read

John Adams, one of our country's founding fathers, pointed out that the word "reactive" and the word "creative" are made up of exactly the same letters. The only difference is the arrangement of the letters. And really, the change is not that complex. All you have to do is take the "c" out of "reactive," and put it in front of the "r," and you've got the word "creative."

Most of the time when we think of "reactive," we think of it in negative terms, whereas when we think of "creative," we think of it in positive terms. Sometimes, when we rearrange schedules or priorities, simple changes can make a substantial difference in our results and the happiness that goes along with those results.

Example: Most time-management experts tell us that we should plan our day the night before and list the things to do in order of their importance. The next day, we should start at the top of the list and work through the entire schedule. Even if we do not finish the list, we will, nevertheless, have been working on the things that are the most important.

The one change I would make would be to put the most difficult or objectionable job at the top of the list. Example: If you have an employee you have to deal with in a severe manner, it's best to tackle that assignment first. Otherwise, if he's fifth on the list, when you finish project No. 1, he's at the back of your mind. When you finish project No. 2, there he is, still waiting to be dealt with. What you need to do is deal with him first, which will free your mind to concentrate on the other jobs, one at a time. Your effectiveness will improve.

Difficult problems get worse if we neglect them, so rearrange your priorities, and make a difference in your effectiveness. Take that approach, and I'll see you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at Subscribe to Zig Ziglar's free e-mail newsletter through

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