Time to Over-Prepare
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

We are living in a very unusual time. Elections, working from home, schooling from home, social distancing; the distractions are everywhere. As I thought about this week’s post, I wondered what I could do to remove distractions and stay on track. The answer I came up with wasn’t a good one: I don’t think there is much we can do to remove distraction from our lives. At least the political ads will stop, and my home phone won’t ring as much, but everything else is still in play. In times of great uncertainty and distractions, over-prepare. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but just stay with me a bit while I explain.

When times are in flux, we need to be very certain about the outcomes we are looking for. I want to use one of Marisa’s tools as an example. Each season she creates her family’s Seasonal Bucket List full of intentional activities, adventures, traditions, and events. This allows Marisa and her family to focus on what matters most to them based on the season they are in. As a family, they prepare the list in advance, and as they complete each item, they check it off. Now that is over-preparing. By thinking through the season in advance, they can schedule things that are time-sensitive and predetermine what may be required to fulfill the objectives. The list also makes sure that they find time for fun and enjoyment amid the chaos of day-to-day life.

The closer you get to the target, the more likely you are to hit it. How close (or far away) are you from your plans and your vision for the future? How often do you revisit them? These days, you need to have them in front of you all the time. In this digital age, many have abandoned the time-tested tools of daily planning. It’s just easier to load it into our smartphone and forget about it until 15 minutes before the event. When we write our plans down as we plan for our week, and review it each evening, we prepare, or shall I say over-prepare for each event, meeting, or task. We set an intention and our pre-conscious mind starts preparing. Even when we sleep, our brain is preparing, and we don’t even realize it. Compare that to accepting an invitation for a meeting and never giving it another thought until your smartphone sends you the alert.

Don’t prepare; over-prepare. Predetermine your objective, lay out your goals, and adjust your priorities. Remember, the biggest gap in life is the gap between what we know we should do and what we actually do. If you would like to close that gap, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 178 of The Next Page podcast as we take a closer look at the tools you can use to over-prepare and plan the path to your greatest potential.

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