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Making a List and Checking it Twice

December 12, 2019 By The Disrupter Leave a comment

On Friday we have a really big thing happening.  An assembly of 20 people from 7 states.  There are A LOT of things on the list: flights to book, hotels accommodations, local transportation logistics, name tags, logo clothing, swag bags, meals, agendas, speakers notes, out of office messaging, training room a/v, headsets for a facility tour, presentation slides, photography, welcome signs, dozens of emails, hundreds of instant messages.  Did I miss anything?!

Of course I missed something!  Something(s) haven’t and won’t go as planned.  It’s ok, we’ll fix them and roll with whatever we can’t.  That’s not the message for this week though.  This weeks RemanU is about preparation.  I believe we make our own luck.  In other words, the better position we put ourselves in, through preparation, the better our chance to get lucky or have success.  The key to pulling off a big thing with a lot of moving parts whatever that may be (your wedding, a software implementation, new product launch, a presentation….) is to prepare and prepare well. 

I’m not an expert at this, but I’m learning and making progress and want to share a few things for the anxious, overwhelmed and my fellow procrastinators.

  • Start making your list early!  Keep refining it as you go. 
  • Include others and share the whole thing with them not just the part they can help with or are responsible for.  They will surprise you with their helpfulness and ideas.
  • Review the list on a regular cadence by yourself and with others.  Ask for advice.  Ask lots of questions: What could go wrong?  What could be better?
  • Set aggressive and public deadlines.  Sharing deadlines holds everyone accountable including yourself.
  • Prioritize.  Make sure the critical and time sensitive things are done first and done well.  Don’t work on the other stuff until you’ve got the priorities under control.
  • Work backwards.  In order for X to happen, what needs to happen first and along the way to make it happen?
  • Do something special.  Find one thing and go over and above to make it amazing.  One or two special things will give everything else a polished feel and make a little miss here or there forgettable.
  • Have fun!  Big ambitious projects are a ton of work.  If you aren’t having (making) some fun along the way, the grind will wear you down and stress you out.  Laugh along the way!
  • Let it go.  The bigger the thing, the less likely you’ll nail down every detail.  When something doesn’t go right, let it go and move on.  Your attitude will be mirrored by those working with you and sharing the experience you create.
  • Seize the day.  Seize today.  The more you can get done, the earlier, the better off you’ll be to realize a new opportunity or address an issue.

Ok, hope that helps! Go do something big and wish me luck tomorrow!

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