[This is the first in a series on Productivity]
Do you like to wake up to surprises? If you’re smart, you’re instantly qualifying that question with “What kind of surprise?” No dirty diapers or frozen water-lines. I mean a good surprise.
I woke up today and found that my wife had set out the coffee mugs for my at-home staff meeting later on this morning. Not only that, but the coffee “accessories” were out, and a few extra chairs were at the table.
I was so touched.
Planning ahead has many merits, the most obvious of which is saving yourself time in the long run by taking care of essential tasks before things “get complicated.” Most of us actually plan ahead more than we realize, like setting an alarm the night before. But there is another far greater benefit of planning ahead.
The emotional intangible.
Setting out the coffee mugs, cleaning up the kitchen, and adding a few more chairs around the table are things I could have very easily done myself. But because my wife did them, not only did I not have to–which saved me time (and the fact that I’m not as thoughtful to do things like she does)–but I was instantly aware that she was thinking of me. And thinking of our staff.
While I was busy snoring away (which I do), she was taking just a few extra minutes to make sure everything was all set. I felt cared for. Important. And that meant more to me than any level of productivity; in fact, such acts by others actually increase our own productivity.
Aside from thinking ahead for yourself, who is one person you could prepare something for that would positively affect their work load today?
Being prepared speaks to peoples’ lives, that you care about who they are, not just about you getting all your proverbial ducks in a row. ch: