"Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success. "—Henry Ford
Planning and preparation will give you a 10-times greater chance to achieve your goals. It will reduce wasted time and effort, while improving and maximizing results.
The book Learning to Think Strategically explains how Japanese executives are required to block out at least two hours a day when they simply do nothing but think. No phone calls, computers or paperwork, no interruptions and no exceptions.
During this time they are asked to stop their movement, think through the actions they are to take that day, over the next 90 days and for the next five years. They plan and assess the strategic value of their actions and the actions of their team and organization before moving further. This process allows them to constantly stay on strategy, dismiss distracting projects and continually operate at the highest level possible.
"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.""—Arthur Ashe
Here are four ways to out-prepare your competition:
1. Study: This is the advantage that Jamie Moyer and so many other superachievers exercise better than their competition and the rest of us. While others are filling their time with entertainment and escapism, superachievers are studying and improving their craft. Having more knowledge, data, background and intelligence will always give you the upper hand in any situation.
2. Develop: Develop the skills necessary to achieve excellence in your game. Brian Tracy explains that every skill you need to succeed is learnable. There is nothing you cannot learn and master to achieve anything you want in business and in life.
3. Practice:Tiger Woods was interviewed on the Golf Channel and was asked what he thought was the key to his success. His answer: practice. He gave away his secret when he said it wasn't just the time he put into practice, rather what he put into the time of practice. To practice, many golfers will go out and hit a thousand golf balls on the range, much of the time only reinforcing many bad patterns and problems in their swing. Tiger explained how he and his coach study, analyze and refine every swing, seeking to get as close to "perfect practice" as possible.
4. Play the Game in Your Head First: Before making a presentation, an important phone call or having an important meeting, play the event out in your head exactly as you want it to happen first. It is amazing how your posture, energy and expectation will change, and your performance will rise to meet it. Try it.