There is an old saying, “Well planned is half-done”. However, for the sake of this post, I would like to modify it into form: “Well prepared is half-done”.
While planning is essential when you want to know the overview of steps you are going to take, the value of preparation cannot be underestimated either. With preparation, you can make sure that the action steps related to your plan are executed as efficiently as possible.
Benefits of preparing
The most obvious benefit of preparation is that it gives you a head start when taking action.
Instead of pondering what to do when you sit on your office chair, you are ready to take action immediately, because you have done your preparation beforehand.
Second major benefit is better focus in busy situations.
You may be stressed over a tight deadline, but if you have prepared your tasks (at least a bit) in advance, you can focus better on them when you start working.
Third, you are most likely to get your stuff done faster when you prepare (than without preparing). When all of the low-value stuff is out of the way, you can focus 100% on the high-value part of the task instead.
The fourth benefit of preparedness is a mental one. You expect (being mentally prepared) for something to happen – rather than letting it occur unexpectedly, thus stopping you on your tracks completely.
For example, if you are heading for a business trip, but weather forecast has predicted a heavy snow storm for that day, you realize that that the planned schedules are not going to be valid that day (or the trip is even postponed till another date).
Had you prepared for this to happen in advance, it wouldn’t be a shock to you, thus you had already taken pro-active action on how to handle the situation (like, letting the other party know about the weather conditions and possible delays).
How does preparing and goals work together?
There are certain similarities when it comes to preparing and planning – yet there is a difference between these two.
Whereas the planning gives you the overall direction where you want to go and which goal to reach (and by when), preparing makes sure that those goal-related action steps are made efficiently and without losing time on minor details.
Also, in my experience preparing works better with short-term goal tasks than with the long term ones.
For example, you might have a plan related to a goal, that you hope to reach in three years from this date. However, it may be just impractical to make preparations now, since your plans may change down the road.
On the other hand, when you take your preparation closer to the “runway level” tasks, you are living more on moment and you are not preparing for something that may never be realized.
For instance, preparing in advance for the tasks on the next day or on the next week (sometimes even on the next month) is a much more preferable way of proceeding than preparing for something in the distant future.
Create a habit of preparing in advance
It is imperative to create a habit of preparing – whether doing it mentally or actually taking care of some of the low-value tasks, so that you can focus on the high-value ones instead.
What I suggest you to do is to block some time for example on Saturdays or Sundays and make your preparation work for the next week’s various tasks. This makes sure that your tasks are executed much more promptly than without any preparation.
How do I prepare myself for the next week?
I prepare for my next week tasks on Sunday. I have reserved a time block, when I go through the tasks I have coming the next week.
When the blogging is concerned, on Sundays I do the following:
a) Edit and upload my coming YouTube video ready for the Friday
b) Write a notification of the new video to my list (auto-responder message) and schedule it
c) Decide the topic for my next blog post
d) Write a rough outline for my coming post
e) Decide on the topic and create an outline for my next guest post
f) Have a dictionary page ready on my browser’s tab (I need this when writing my blog post on Mondays ;)
When I have these tasks done, I’m ready to kick-start my week by writing a new blog post on Monday morning, starting at 05.30 AM. I can take the full advantage of my available time, instead of pondering about the topic to write about or what goes inside my post (outline is ready).
Preparation gives me a head-start for my week and I get more done this way.
As you can see, preparation has many good sides in it. If you are not already doing it, I hope that you decide to learn this habit as quickly as possible.
Be ready to rock your day and week (sometimes month) by doing some preparation in advance!
Your next tasks:
1. Put this blog post into action!
- Block out some time on the weekend and prepare your tasks in advance – for the next week
- Start being prepared on anything (not just blogging). Take some time to think if there is anything you could do in advance, when it comes to handling your everyday tasks
2. Share your experiences and tips on the comment area:
- Do you prepare for your tasks in advance?
- What benefits have you experienced after preparing for something?
3. Spread the word:
I would appreciate it if you share this post on Twitter or on Facebook.