“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” ~ Wayne Gretzky
Think about this… If you could predict the future, your productivity would skyrocket. The biggest hurdles to productivity are interruptions, distractions, and unknowns. No matter how many tools you use, lists you keep, methods you follow – life will come along and screw everything up with reality.
How many times have you thought to yourself “that looks great on paper?” Over-planning can often be worse than under-planning, and unless you are a psychic, you have to learn to work with the stuff life dumps into your lap.
An Alternative to Psychic Powers
The best way to avoid surprises is to try and anticipate them. Now, that may be easier said then done, but here is a great use for all the worrying you may do.
Take some time and jot down what may go wrong, what interruptions may occur, what problems you may encounter. Really let that worrying thing do its job. In project parlance, it’s a risk assessment, but in your own day-to-day work and tasks, it’s the next best thing to being psychic. The idea is to envision some worse case scenarios and see if you can plan some contingencies around them. This is a good use of all the uncertainty you encounter and sweat over.
There’s often real value in imagining some of the negatives that can pop up – whether project related, task related, or just part of daily living. It’s not good or necessary to dwell on the possible issues that may arise, but taking time to imagine what could happen is a good way to be ready for whatever your day throws at you.
If you are psychic, collect Randi’s prize, go live on an exotic island, and let all your worries go. If not, take advantage of those worries, and plan for the unexpected.
Tony D. Clark writes, draws cartoons, designs software and websites, and spends a lot of time talking others into working from home, being creative, and doing what they love. His blog Success from the Nest helps people to design and run a home-based business that is in line with their unique gifts, values, personality, and world-view – all served up with humor and cartoons.