Be prepared… then Ready, Steady, Go!

clouds, taken from in an airplaneThe last few days have been about preparation. Finally, I think I might be ready to go. Sure there is always more I could have done, extra angles I could have considered, a few more things that could have been crammed in, but part of being prepared is also knowing when to stop.

I’m off to Hong Kong – which is unusual for me, and taken quite a bit of planning and prep. Flights, insurance, hotels, trains, and cover at home for the kids and the dog and the chickens.

It’s a study trip so there was a practical task working out what I wanted to gain, which areas I wanted to explore, who to approach and why. Then there was all the logistics – making approaches, timetabling responses and moving stuff that clashed (much of which was handled by a very dear friend there – thanks Winnie!)

I also had to prepare to leave here – what about ongoing work where deadlines still keep on going and can’t just stop, and also seeding new things – whilst I am away another dear friend is handling an interview for a piece we want to work on.

I’ve always been a fan of the statement: ‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail’ and put a lot of energy into thinking different tracks through before I do something. But having spent last year watching people acutely, I’m also very aware of the minefield of ‘over prepared-ness’, where people plough on with their original intension even when the context is clearly pushing for a shift.

So how do you both prepare, and yet stay flexible and adaptable? How do you feel ready and not feel exhausted, almost as though there is no point actually doing the thing you are setting out to do as you have rehearsed it so many times it has become meaningless?

This is the balance I seek. I want to keep an edge of excitement, of not knowing. Yet I don’t want to be caught out and have wasted time and resources – mine and everyone else’s.

I had a good practice last night. My bag weighed too much. Had to decide what was to go and what was to stay – and did it very quickly as I wanted to get to bed. I feel I made the right choices, didn’t need to change my mind this morning, but I had the chance to should I have wished. That felt right – timely and speedy too.

Photo by kevin dooley and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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