Sunday, February 22, 2009

How do you execute?

It helps when you have a process to follow.

Let's take a simple example. Let's assume I have to pick up milk. Before I take off I play the entire scenario in my mind. It goes like this ...

I will ask the milk vendor to give me [how much do we need?] milk.
She will put the sachets in my bag [I need to take a cloth bag with me] and then I need to give her money [She may not have change that early in the morning, so check if I have the exact change].

There! This simple act of playing the whole scenario once in my mind ensures that I have all that is required to execute flawlessly.

That was a simple example and what's more a repetitive activity. Ok. Let's take something a little more involved.

Assume you are traveling by car to an out of city location. You have your family with you. Won't you do the same? Only this time you might want to have a pencil and paper handy.

We'll start early [set the alarm]. The kids will be sleepy [ensure their clothes are packed; they can go straight from bed to the car - we will change when they wake up in the car]. Once they get up they will need to eat [aim to reach an eatery - with toilet - by 7 OR pack some food] ... this can go on and on. I find this very effective.

In complicated scenarios, I also simulate what-if scenarios. For example, what if fuel finishes on the way [check if the tank has sufficient fuel]. What if there is a break down [have I taken the help line number?] What of the tyre blows up [Check where the jack is? Can it be easily located? Does the spare have full air?] So on and so forth.

How do you plan? Much the same? Or do you go by your gut feel? I know some people who just make a list randomly and manage just as well. How do you do it?

Photo courtesy: Yaroslav B

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