Anticipating the Future: A Productivity Boosting Skill
As Wayne Gretzky once said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” This quote does not only apply to hockey players, but also to anyone who wants to succeed in their field. If you could predict the future, your productivity would skyrocket. Unfortunately, nobody has psychic powers, so we need an alternative to stay productive.
The biggest hurdles to productivity are interruptions, distractions, and unknowns. No matter how many tools you use or lists you keep, life will always come along and throw a wrench in your productivity plans. But, what if you could plan for the unexpected? What if you could anticipate the future instead of being blindsided by it?
An Alternative to Psychic Powers
The best way to avoid surprises is to try and anticipate them. This may be easier said than done, but it is still possible. Take some time and jot down what may go wrong, what interruptions may occur, and what problems you may encounter. Let your worrying tendencies do their job. In project management, this is called risk assessment, and in your daily life, it’s the next best thing to being psychic.
Envision some worst-case scenarios and see if you can plan some contingencies around them. While it is not necessary to dwell on the possible issues that may arise, taking time to imagine what could happen is a good way to be ready for whatever your day throws at you.
Imagining the Negatives Can Be Positive
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.
Over-planning vs. Under-planning
Over-planning can often be worse than under-planning. Unless you are psychic, you have to learn to work with the stuff life dumps into your lap. However, under-planning can leave you unprepared when something unexpected occurs. That’s why anticipating the future takes a happy medium. You don’t want to over-plan, but you don’t want to be caught off guard.
Contingency Planning for Better Productivity
Contingency planning involves coming up with strategies to address potential problems that may arise. It is the process of creating a backup plan for unexpected situations. One way to start contingency planning is to identify what potential setbacks you may encounter. Then, identify the steps to take if one of those situations arises.
For example, if you have an important deadline, what if the power goes out? Or, if you are in an important meeting, what if your computer dies? Having a backup plan can help you stay on track and maintain your productivity levels.
Anticipating the future may not be an easy task, but it is a valuable skill to have. By imagining some of the negatives that can pop up, you can be better prepared for whatever your day throws at you. Over-planning can often lead to more problems than under-planning, but contingency planning can help you find a happy medium. Being prepared for potential problems will help you avoid surprises, interruptions, and distractions, resulting in increased productivity.