July 12, 2013

Short Stack: The 7pm Meeting

By our very nature, neither Justin & I are natural planners.

We don’t book hotel rooms six months in advance. We don’t plan our meals out a week in advance. We don’t enjoy sticking to a strictly set out itinerary where every minute is accounted for when we travel.

We are go with the flow type people. Pursuers of the great adventure. Believers that the best things happen when you leave space to be surprised once in a while.

And in general, I love that about us. And I wouldn’t change it.

However, we are starting to learn that there is something to be said about what I’ll call “preparing to be spontaneous.”

Yes, I know that sounds like (and probably is) an oxymoron. But I guess what I mean by that, is that we are learning that when you take the time to put in about 10% more preparation, that 90% adventure becomes a lot more fun and a lot less stressful. A good example of that would be that I probably should have had two weeks of blog posts all pre-blogged up and ready to go while we were on this trip, so all I had to do was make them active each day. But I’m really not a big fan of too much pre-blogging because I think it can start to get a little stale, and the whole point of this blog is to share life as it’s happening with you guys. So….I didn’t. Instead, I was writing them in the mornings and then trying to find somewhere with internet access around 4pm in the afternoon when it was morning back in the States to make them live. Looking back, I think a happy medium would have been to have a few posts pre-blogged, so that I could get a few days ahead and not always be writing that day’s post that morning. If I had just done 10% more preparation, we could have been even more in the moment of having fun when we were having it & not have those logistics to deal with.

Preparing to be spontaneous

There is this great quote that I’ve referenced on the blog here before that says, “Most people have the will to win, but very few have the will to prepare to win.” And another great one is of course is “Luck= Preparation + Opportunity.” So in pursuit of this idea of becoming just a little bit better at planning because it PREPARES us for when the good things come around, one other small thing that Justin & I have started doing (that Justin actually came up with) is what we’re calling “The 7pm Meeting.”

The idea is simple, every evening (when we’re working) at 7pm we will put everything away for the day and then sit down together to talk about what’s on our plate for tomorrow. We’ll go over what meetings we have, what places we need to be, whether or not we have a shoot, and what work needs to get done. It takes about 5 minutes and we even have an alarm set on both of our phones to remind us.

From there, we can take what we go over to 1) Make our “Win the Day” list for the next day, 2) Get anything we’ll need ready for the next day like charging batteries on our gear if we have a shoot and 3) Prepare to win by doing things like laying out our clothes (or work out clothes) and cleaning off our desks so we have a clean slate the next morning.

And the best thing about The 7pm Meeting is that it tells us both that it’s time to stop working for the day and that our brains can start switching off from work mode & focus on really being home together. After that meeting, we’ll know it’s time to cook dinner together, pop popcorn, pick out a movie, go on a walk together, or whatever we want to do as long as it’s really spending time together.

So that’s it, one small way we’ve been preparing to win. And so far we’ve been loving it!

Give it a try & let us know how it works for you.

But just remember, the only reason to do all that preparation…is if you then actually go out & do something about the adventure. :)

Happy Friday!

  1. Joe

    I love the "Luck = Preparation + Opportunity" saying! People have started to ask us how we get some of the photos we get and I always respond by saying that they are happy accidents that are completely tied into our preparation. I definitely like "Luck = Preparation + Opportunity" more! Without preparation the opportunities are much less common.

  2. Rachel McCloud

    My husband and I do our business together so I am absolutely in love with the 7pm meeting. Definitely going to have to implement this. :)

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