In golf, there is an expression: “Play Ready Golf”. It is a very simple phrase, but can mean many different things at once. Golf courses, especially at peak times, can be very crowded places. That tends to slow down the pace of play and there are few things golfer’s hate more than a slow round.
If the day is busy, you will be reminded to “play ready golf” when you tee off. That means that, while you are waiting to hit your shot (because the group in front of you is in the way) you should be doing lots of things. Size up the distance and terrain, decide on your shot and club, find your aim point, take your practice swings, etc. The idea is to get everything possible done beforehand, so as soon as it is your turn to swing, you are ready.
Why am I talking about golf on a business blog you ask?
Because I think that people underestimate the power of this idea. How often do you think through the next several things you have to do? I don’t mean at a project level. Every business owner knows that they have to buy materials before they can make something. Or that they need to do this marketing strategy before that one.
What I mean is, are you doing things as the occur to you? Or do you just wander from step to step of your daily tasks? Most of these things are very simple, but in my experience, can make a big difference. Do you know where around town you are going to be and then think about what errands you can/need to run in that area? Do you have a list of things to talk about with different people the next time you talk to them? That way you don’t have to call the person five times a day. It can even be something as simple as: “I know that the back door of my office is a pain to get open, so I’m only going to take half a load out to the car so I have a free hand to prop it open. That way the other loads will be even faster and easier”.
I am constantly amazed at how many people will start a task without having all the tools they will need at hand. I never understand why they do this! Everyone knows the costliest parts of any work is the starting and stopping of tasks!
This can make an impact on your personal life, but it could have an even BIGGER impact on the world . What if you were actually looking around and anticipating other people’s needs, where they were going, and what they are going to do? How much more quickly could we ALL get what we need? A tiny sacrifice for a couple of people can cut out a tremendous amount of time and confusion later on. And end up actually saving you time.
I think we need more people playing “ready life”. Start thinking a couple of steps ahead. Try anticipating things instead of reacting to them.
I bet that you will find less friction in your life overall.
Just a thought.