I know that I spend way too much time doing and too little time preparing. Too often I just start doing stuff before even thinking about what I want to do, much less actually preparing for it.
I find this is true in almost every activity I have. Is this something that sounds familiar to you?
A good example is how I start to read.
When I read I usually just pick up a book and start. I don’t think about what I’m reading and I don’t think about what I want to get out of the reading I’m doing.
After fifteen or twenty minutes I often notice that I have no idea what I’ve just read. I have two choices. I can either go back and start over or I can just keep going. I usually decide to just keep going. I hate having to do things over again. With reading I can do this. With other stuff……well, you and I can’t.
Not preparing means missing a lot.
Because I don’t spend a few minutes preparing to read I miss a lot of what I’ve read. I find that when I do go back, I tend to recognize what I’ve read. I also find the details that I missed are pretty important.
This is really true when I listen to someone. Because I’ve not prepared myself to listen I miss a lot of what’s said to me. This means I have to hope that I don’t get caught and have to fess up that I wasn’t really listening.
Does that ever happen to you? How do you handle it?
Not preparing means having to do things over again.
None of us likes to make mistakes. How many times have you blamed yourself when you weren’t paying attention and had to start from scratch? Better yet, how many times have you embarrassed yourself because you weren’t paying attention and did your task wrong.
If you spend a few minutes getting ready for what’s next you’ll make less mistakes. You’ll end up spending less time doing stuff when you do it right the first time.
A great tool is meditation.
I’ve been meditating for years. It helps me empty my mind. When I do this I find that it’s easy for me to focus on what’s next. I don’t have to meditate for a long time. Usually it’s less than five minutes. I do meditate for at least 30 minutes every morning. If you tried this I bet it would be a great way for you to start your day.
I just close my eyes, count my breaths and focus inside. When I start on whatever it is I want to do, I’m much more efficient and effective at my task. My subconscious has been cleared and I’m ready for the task ahead.
Clearing your mind puts you in the present.
When you spend just a few minutes preparing for your next task you’ll find that you spend more time in the present. You’ll be telling your mind there are things to do and you’ll ask for its help.
This might sound a little strange. Think about this; how often do you find that you’re thinking about what just happened or what’s next. You might find that you spend very little time thinking about what you’re doing now. That’s when you make mistakes and have to do it over again.
I bet if you spent a little time clearing your head, you’d enjoy more of what you do and make fewer mistakes. What do you think?