Planning is Only Half the Battle by SmartDraw


Planning is Only Half the Battle by SmartDraw

You've planned your day. The schedule is set. You're ready to do this, right?

Not yet, according to Craig Jarrow, author of the blog, Time Management Ninja. You also need to prepare.

"Planning is good... knowing what you need to do is a great first step," Jarrow says. "Preparation is even better... it readies you to actually do your work."

Think of planning as the first phase and preparation the second. Here are six tips Jarrow offers to help you with preparation:  

1. Do it the night before.

Preparing the night before allows you time to get everything organized and take care of any missing pieces. Waiting until the "day of" can lead to a last-minute scramble (ever scrambled to find a missing item on your way out the door?).

2. Do it well in advance whenever possible.

This is especially important when preparing for a big event. Gather materials several days beforehand. Getting everything together early allows more time to remedy any unforeseen issues.

3. Do the (pre) work.

Preparation is all about doing as much of the work as possible in advance. Read the materials, review the data, and practice the activity. When the time comes to do the work, you'll be ready.

4. Save time.

Don't allow yourself to believe you don't have time to prepare. Good preparation saves time by reducing errors and helping to prevent the need to re-do mistakes. It also shortens activities. For example, a well-prepared meeting takes less time to conduct.

5. Reduce stress.

Being prepared means being confident. That means less for you to worry about, which reduces stress.

6. Make it a habit.

Practice preparation part of your lifestyle, rather than just on occasion. You'll reap the benefits every day.