Getting Prepared — Being Efficient & Productive


Getting Prepared — Being Efficient & Productive

Do you ever struggle with stopping and starting in the middle of a project? Today I’m talking about getting prepared as part of a system for being efficient and productive.

This is the second post in my series. You can find the introduction here to see what you’re going to get. If you prefer video you can watch the video below or take a look at the series playlist on my youtube channel.

So far we’ve talked about making your plan by creating a long messy list of ideas and slowly working it into an outline for your plan.

Today we’ll be talking about getting both physically and mentally prepared to take action.

Now, based on the plan you made in the last post, let’s make sure you have what you need. You did make a plan last time didn’t you? I hope so. Do you need any tools or equipment? Do you need a wide open space or a quiet room? A bench or a desk? Any props?

Take some time to gather it all together in one place so you have it right when you need it.

A prime example of getting all this stuff together is my 9–5 gig. I basically work out of the back of a van installing communications equipment in peoples houses. I need to prepare for the job well and take everything out of the van. Otherwise I waste a lot of time walking back and forth between the house and the van. It’s even more important that I prepare my van properly. Otherwise I’ll be wasting even more time driving across town. That would totally ruin my flow and very likely ruin my whole day. The planning and the preparation are definitely important.

In our example from the last post you were going to shoot a video of some kind. For that you’re going to need a quiet space, a suitable backdrop, a camera, a tripod and some extra lights. Perhaps you’ll need some extra clothing. I would also have a bottle of water so you have something to drink along the way.

Another thing to think about is the amount of time you will need. Do you need a large block of time? Would it make more sense to break it into a few smaller blocks of time? This will depend on the type of project you’re doing. In most projects it makes more sense to break it down into smaller tasks and complete them one at a time.

In our video project you’ve already taken a nice chunk of time to setup the plan. You should also take some time to tidy up your space. Then you want to setup your camera, lights and microphone. After that you’ll probably want to change into your other clothes and grab a drink of water or a bite to eat before shooting the video. The last block of time will be editing the video and getting ready to release it to the world.

You could do all of that in one day. But that would make for a really long day. I couldn’t do it. I would definitely break the project down into smaller tasks on different days to keep my energy and enthusiasm up.

Being prepared like this reduces wasted time and keeps you moving forward with a good flow.

It’s even more important to have a clear head space to work in. So here’s a few ideas on how to clear your head and be ready.

Play some high energy music, sing along with it and be foolish. Nobody’s watching. It’s just you and the camera. Do a few jumping jacks or push ups to get the blood pumping. Keep visualizing your success and thinking positive thoughts while staying upbeat. This will keep you excited and energized as you move forward.

Being physically drained is one thing. There are certain things you definitely don’t want to do when you don’t have the right energy. But being mentally drained is worse, and can be very disheartening. It makes you change your mind more often. It makes you redo your work more often. It makes you start wondering why you’re doing this.

It’s okay to change your mind once in a while. As long as it’s only once in a while. Being prepared and having a plan will keep you from changing your mind too often and keep you on the right track.

Once all your stuff is gathered and your head is cleared you’ll have a better chance of sticking to your plan. It will be easier to see where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going.

We’re going to stop short of actually shooting a video right now.

That could be a whole series on its own and there are people far better at teaching it than I am.

I’m thinking of people like Pat Flynn, Sean Cannell, Peter McKinnon, Chris Hau, Brian G [links] among others.

My best advice is to just shoot the video and go through the process. See what it looks like then shoot another one. You’ll have a little more knowledge, a little more skill and a few better ideas. Practice makes progress. Don’t worry about perfection.

Remember, your first video will be your worst video. It doesn’t matter how proud you are of it at the time. It’s better to get that one done while nobody’s watching and there’s no pressure.

So there you have it. By now you’ve prepared your plan. You’ve prepared your physical pace and your head space. Taking some time to do these things will produce benefits as you move forward.

Now, I want you to do something for me. I want you to leave a comment below and let me know what you do to help clear your head. I’m looking forward to trying your ideas on my next project

Hopefully this series will help you along your journey and give you some useful tips. I have more great content coming up so stay tuned.

I’ll see you next time when we talk about staying focused.

If you find this interesting please consider subscribing to my newsletter at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *