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The Benefits of Being Prepared

I read an interesting comment from a friend and colleague, Geralin Thomas, last week. She said (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘I’m the person you want to sit next to on an airplane. I always carry extra magazines, snacks, a nail file and …’ She is prepared to wait. There is a huge benefit in this. Geralin won’t be bored and neither will the person sitting next to her.  When I leave my house for the day I always bring extra bottles of water in a small cooler – just in case. Generally I also have a stash of snacks in that cooler in case I don’t have time to stop for lunch. I also have garbage bags – clear, white, and black – for easy identification. Sometimes I need to see, at a glance, which bag holds recycling, which one is for shredding, and which is for donations. The milk crate in the trunk of my car holds the collection of garbage bags and paper towels, wet wipes and an assortment of other items I use for work. I have extra blank files and a labeler in my tote bag in case I need to sort papers and organize files.  Often, when I go out at night I take a sweater – even in the summer! Some people, and I am one, get really chilled in cold restaurants or movie theatres. So, rather than complain, I bring a sweater. I find many benefits to being prepared. Before I leave my house I think through my day trying to anticipate the sorts of things I will need for my work and my personal use. I have a basic check list to ensure I don’t forget any usual items. This helps me feel really in control and organized when I leave the house. So, how do you prepare yourself for the day ahead? Do you make a list of activities and then gather the items you need to bring along? Do you prepare the night before or do you rush around in the early morning?