I think I’ve ranted about preparation here before. I guess I’m gonna do it again! But not full on preparation. Today I’ll just talk about “a little prework” as if it’s not really preparation. Oh, and how a little prework can go a long way.
What is prework? I think it’s basically a head start. It’s a little bit of strategizing, planning, research, focus, setting expectations, gathering your thoughts, etc. It’s not getting everything done ahead of time. It’s not inverse universe procrastination. It’s a bite-sized chunk of preparation.
So, um, why bother? How is prework better than just doing it all in the time that you already have set aside to do the whole thing whatever the thing is?
- It settles your brain down. You have a structure. You know what’s coming up. Let’s be honest…when I have something coming up in the near future and I haven’t spent any time giving it shape, I fret. I worry. I actually waste more time with formless, useless, unproductive worry than if I just spend a few minutes and do a little prework. It’s just less stressful.
- It’s easier to do what you have to do at the time – You aren’t spinning or building the plane while you’re trying to fly it. (I absolutely hate using that as a business model. Sure, sometimes we have to make stuff up as we go along, but doing it intentionally is not something that works with my brain. I know people who love it – but they only love it because they aren’t the ones who have to clean up after the crash!)
- It’s easier to respond to changes than it is to build a plane. Okay, enough with the planes. It’s easier to change a plan than it is to create one from scratch – so you can be more responsive. That means you can actually be more agile, more flexible and quicker on the uptake if you are modifying a plan. (And that’s exponentially more impactful if your plan includes how you’re going to respond…) Prework actually is a small plan.
- It’s easier to be successful if you know where you want to go and what you want to do. If you set a direction and an expectation or two, you have a better chance of achieving them (bonus: without a bunch of confusion or judgment!) Even if I set an expectation that I’m going to just wander around and see where my intuition takes me, then I’m going to be able to relax into it, rather than worrying about what I should be doing.
- You can be in the moment. You can be better in the moment. You can put your head in the space you want it to be. You can focus more on what you’re doing than how you’re gonna do it, so it’s more engaging and authentic. Ironically, it’s easier to be more spontaneous.
In general, I find that a little prework goes a long way towards making things less stressful, more enjoyable, more experiential and more effective.
Oh yeah…there’s no formula for prework. You get to decide what works for you!
In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love, and light in the shadows,