Have you ever said to yourself, “I just wasn’t ready” or you had wished you had studied, practiced, or rehearsed more?
Let me give you a quick story: A co-worker and I were assigned to give presentations to the board of directors about the departments we managed. My co-worker asked me if I wanted to practice and rehearse together. At first, I wasn’t going to think about this presentation until about a day or so prior to having to give it. However, knowing this would force me to get this done ahead of time and forage a relationship with a peer manager, I did. After a few days of rehearsing with him, I realized if I had not prepared early I most certainly would have looked like an amateur and my lack of preparedness would have been evident. Surely it would have reflected poorly on me to my boss and my boss to the board. After over a week of practice and polishing, I presented to the board with charisma and confidence. It went flawlessly. My boss, who seldom gave a public compliment, was heard from across the room saying, “nice job.”
A best practice in Getting a good start in anything is preparation. In this week’s podcast, you will hear about preparation, helping others, discipline, and time management. In future podcasts and blog articles, we will explore how to execute some of the items discussed in order for you to get a good start.
To hear more about the insights from a professional who has experienced success at the college and professional sports levels, please watch my interview with the NY Jets Director of Corporate Partnerships, John Willi:
There are several takeaways from our interview with John. We discussed preparation, time management, and discipline. All things which at face value seem pretty obvious. It is the execution of these things which will help each of us get a good start.
If you are a student, think about what a difference a good start to the semester can have on the whole year. How digesting, studying, and comprehending material as you go can help you avoid cramming when mid-terms come. Think about how doing a simple thing like reviewing and if needed, re-writing or annotating your notes the same day can help you remember and maintain a better understanding of the material.
If you are one or two years out of college and just beginning your career, think about the difference between getting to work early to review yesterday’s work or emails or showing up exactly on time and having to play catch up if your boss asks you about an email they sent you the previous evening.
If you are a professional, how many times do you wish you had taken more time to read over a memo or status report from a peer in preparation for a meeting? Think about the impact you can have on your peers and manager if you start the meeting with, “I had read your memo and have thought about some ways to solve the problem and have prepared a shortlist of solutions we can discuss which I will pass out right now.”
In each of these situations, what John and I talked about illustrates real-life examples of what produces results. Make time every day, either in the morning or at night to prepare for the next thing, whatever it is. Even if it is only five minutes to make yourself aware of what is upcoming. Be ready for the next thing. Doing so will prepare you to have a good start and a better chance of being successful.
Here is the takeaway tip: Start small but be consistent: Create a recurring 15-minute meeting on your calendar for the same time each day. It can be in the morning or evening, it only has to be prior to whenever you start your “work” day, be that school or corporate work. When your meeting reminder goes off, mentally review what you accomplished the prior day and then make a list of things you need to follow up on. Check your calendar for upcoming events and review all your emails. I said, review, not read- reviewing means skimming them for emails from people you may need to respond to or prepare something for them. Double-check all of those types of emails and then you will be ready to get a good start to your day.
So get a good start and tune in next week for another podcast where I will help you get a good start.
Audio only version of podcast: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1590718.rss