Prior Preparation Prevents
Poor Performance

Preparation takes time and effort…it is hard work…and hard work requires self-sacrifice!

In my last article I emphasized the need to put in the extra time on a project, take a class, or read to perfect your skills in your profession. Several people called and asked for ideas on how to find time to do go about doing that in our busy lives. Here are a few of the things that I do to find the time to work on these things. My ideas are far from the best but this is what I have found works for me.

  • Get up 15 minutes early and read an article from one of my trade publications.
  • Join a professional association, attend the meetings and get involved…you usually have fun…get to know people and learn some things.
  • Stop watching one mindless TV program per day…think about it…one hour more per day that you can spend reading a book or doing something that makes you better at what you do.
  • Listen to CD’s in my car about my profession as I am driving somewhere…your professional association may have a lending library for minimal or no cost (The only problem with this is that your kids will go crazy listening to your CD on “How to Bore People with PowerPoint Presentations” which you got from your professional association).
  • Use my twitter account to flag areas that have great links that are quick to read that expand my professional knowledge…you can read the 140 word message and decide if you want to spend time reading the link.
  • Have my e mail set up to get key links from associations that keep me current…for example…I have the SHRM association send me updates…then I spend one hour at the end of the week and read them all at once to optimize my time staying current.
  • Take a class…in person or online…most people find the time spent is exciting because it breaks them out of a rut. Personally, most adults like coming to class because they see people other than the people they work with. If you don’t want to take it for the grade…audit the class!
  • Teach a class…you can’t teach something to adults unless you know your topic. That makes you better in your profession…and…you improve your presentation skills which are invaluable. My students ask me how I find the time to teach. To me it has become a hobby….and one they pay me to do!

Now…it’s time to act. Ask yourself the following question. When you go home tonight…are you going to spend two hours tonight watching NCIS reruns (One of my weaknesses)…or…are you going to start using one of the ideas listed above that will prepare you for success?