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Double Your Chances To Feel Confident


Learn 7 easy steps to double your chances at being confident along with 3 common pitfalls that stop us from preparing to win.
Be Prepared, Be Confident (Picture by Church of the King)

Let me start with a riddle today. 


What’s one thing that is valuable and irreversible, yet it is so common that everyone has it? If you said anything between phone, flu or money, you are off.


If your said ‘Time’. You are right. 


It’s valuable, cos it’s a point of opportunity and is available to everyone in the same measure.

 

When a baby grows up to be a toddler, they slowly start to sense that there is something that puts a boundary to each and every activity done in a day.

There is a time set apart for eating, bathing, playing, circle-time and so on. Gone are those days when they could just lie around, cry and wondrously get an adult run to them with a bottle of milk. 


And then as we shed off that toddler persona and grow up to be bigger children, we realize that time is just not enough for ‘Fun activities'. There’s a demand for more ‘free’ time. 


I hear this often from my older one, “Please give me more time, I was just starting to have fun!” 

Some days I can hear a more frustrated tone saying, “Time to sleep, already! But I am not sleepy. I want to stay up and play. “


Sounds familiar!


Fast forward to adulthood and we sound like this. 

“I just don’t have the time to get this done.” 

“Only if I had a little more time!”


No matter the stage of life, the demand for time is always high whereas the supply for it is constant.


Time is one commodity whose measure cannot be altered. You won’t find a sudden spike in the next 40 years. Nor will there be a great invention that can lengthen a 24hr day and make it as a variable for each individual. It’s always been the same since the start of this world. It’s 24hrs and it’s there to stay.


Understanding fully this constant, we need to work around making the best of it – despite smart gadgets around us to make our work easier and lighter. 


If your time is well-planned, the pressure you experience to get things done in a 24hr period won’t be strong.


Here is an infographic that I designed in 2014. 

Activities that we do each day.
Time Spent (infographic by author)

To put it simply, it just displays what we do each day. 


I did not show a percentage distribution against each activity cos that varies with every individual. Given a chance, I would like to snooze a bit longer these days than I actually get to. 

If you take a closer look at this image again, we pretty much do the same things even though it’s been close to 6 years since I first designed it.


Nothing has changed, except for the fact that we wash our hands more often now 😊


Everything mentioned here is relevant. In fact, they carry a fitting quota of time, importance and relevance in a person’s life.


Then why is it that we still say, “Only if I had the time!”


Well, the answer is – we missed ‘Preparation’. 


Preparation in itself is a planned activity.

And I say this from the experience of being an early childhood educator, a homemaker and an IT consultant that it takes effort to plan things and prepare for it in advance. 


Preparation is the panache for success. 


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin.

A good amount of preparation in advance gets us through the task smoothly.

Be it a speech, team meeting, conducting online classes or cooking meals at home.


Preparation takes place in a step by step process. It’s essential to achieve success.


Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe. – Abraham Lincoln.

In This Article


3 Catastrophic Causes That Stop Us From Preparing


1. Procrastination. 

This tops the list almost every time. Procrastinating delays or puts off something for a later time. It usually collaborates well with boredom. A task that is cast away for a later time usually doesn’t get to see the light of day. Unless there’s a delay sensed or reported against it. There wasn’t enough planning time devoted to preparation. 


2. Underestimating importance. 

We tend to look at preparation with unwelcome eyes. Something that has no real purpose or gravity.

The first-ever public speech I gave was in front of my class during the first year of engineering. That day, I saw Physics, Biology and Chemistry form an alliance. My heart raced when I walked up to the front, my knees knocked as I started to talk, my palms were sweaty, my mouth was turning dry, my voice trembled most time and I couldn’t stop shaking. I finished talking. However, it was a complete disaster and I sensed my stomach-turning. 

I was just not prepared to talk in public. Cos I did not understand the importance of being prepared. I had spent my time worrying about the talk and not preparing.


3. Lack of a support system.

Preparation is no easy task. It consumes time and there’s an effort you put in. However, there are times when it’s difficult to prepare all by yourself. It’s alright to ask for help or guidance. 

I’ve worked with some of the best managers and teammates who were willing to guide and teach even if that meant taking time out from their deliveries. I realized that it’s ok to not know a certain thing. There’s always scope to learn if you are willing to. 

Today, can you think of someone who would need a hand with preparation at work or at home? Go ahead and be available for them.


7 Easy Preps To Get Smooth Sailing 


1. Prep for your day

Pray. Pray for a fruitful day and for God to give you the enthusiasm to work without complaining. That’s one of my personal prayers every day. 


Pray before you enter a meeting room (even virtual ones). For God’s favour and wisdom to reside on you and your colleagues. 


Have you attended meetings that lost it’s direction no sooner it started and has been a waste of precious time? Pray for a fruitful discussion.


Remember Daniel, the Jewish youth who served as a captive in Babylon. He prayed three times a day. He took time out of his work to prepare himself for morning, afternoon and evening.


2. Prep for the next day

At the end of your workday, Thank God for his provision. 

Spend a few minutes to revisit the To-Dos. Update it. Identify critical deliveries for the next day. 


3. Prep your wardrobe

I learned this from my mom. She would always keep her Saree ready with other accessories neatly hanging on a hanger for her next workday. (Saree or Sari is a traditional garment of women in India and some other parts of Asia. It’s also included as corporate wear.) 


Have you spent time in front of your wardrobe wondering what to wear? Try this tip next time.

Keep your next day’s outfit ready. My older daughter has picked this up from me and it’s a part of her checklist. 


4. Prep to handle a technical failure

Are you heavily dependent on technology when it comes to presentation and works? If so, create a backup method in case things go wrong.


It’s common to see presentation not showing up on the screen, file not compatible, screen share not working, lag in video and voice. 


We are responsible for the time invested by others. So be prepared.


5. Prep for leave / vacation

Prepare yourself well in advance when you need a day off or time off from work.

A last-minute request sent out to your boss could terribly upset the work schedules. (Unless there was an emergency.)


Prepare a personal holiday plan for the upcoming year towards the end of the year (dates could be tentative). I and my husband would do this every year and send it to our respective bosses for approval. I must say, my boss was amazed at how we planned our holidays for the entire year. My team also were congruent about it. They did the same too. 


Planning for holidays well in advance indicates a supportive characteristic of a person. It shows that they care about the work assigned to them and they would not want any pre-planned holidays or crucial work delivery dates overlap. 


6. Prep your cooking – Combo of the Meal plan and Meal prep

Making meals was an ordeal for me especially since I wasn’t good at it. Some amount of YouTube time was a saving grace. My search keywords were mostly between – ‘easy’, ‘simple’ and ‘quick’. E.g. Easy Khichdi or easy okra curry or Simple dal. 


One fine day I stumbled upon ‘Meal Planning’ and it’s been over a year since I practice preparing meal plans every week. It’s a 15 minutes effort I put in once a week. And it’s a terrific way to save time, money and reduce waste. Cos if you know what you want to cook, you will only buy the essential ingredients and make the needed portion.


The below image is how I do it. Simple isn’t it.

Meal prep used by Tabitha Reji. This is a simple technique.
Sample meal prep plan for the week

Meal preps. I’ve seen my parents do this. My parents had a regular Mon-Fri job. With two kids and no other help, they were pretty smart in managing time and getting things done around the house. They would peel garlic pods, clean onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves and other masala items for the week and store it away in airtight containers. 

I’ve also seen them at times clean certain veggies and stack it away for the week. That’s meal prep. It saves a lot of time when you actually get down to cooking a certain dish. 


7. Prep yourself to be a blessing

Our life is not an accident. It has a purpose and a plan embedded in it. The skills and blessings you have are not just for keepsake. Share it.


Try to think of someone you could bless each day. Prepare for it.


4 Incredible Results Of Being Prepared


1. Cuts down on stress and anxiety

When you are prepared, you are guaranteed to manage problems more quickly and better. You know the possible outcome of a task and are also prepared if it does not turn out well. 


2. Fail-proof plan to feel confident

Try this on your next public speech or the next video call. Rehearse your script multiple times. And see the difference on the D-day. 


Whenever I made a pre-sales presentation to a customer, I ensured that I rehearsed my talk as well as understood the software application well enough to see that my talk comes out clear and compelling. 


3. You get things done faster

When you are prepared, you know what to work on and how to start it. This way you have control over how you use your time.


4. Able to catapult in good health even if something goes wrong 

Everyone experiences sickness. That’s nature. 


But did you know that those who exercise regularly, eat wisely and live a better lifestyle are more likely to bounce back to a great shape than those who don’t if they fall sick? 


Exercise coupled with a better lifestyle prepares our body for better living. This one is seriously tough for me. I am still working on it.


Conclusion

Time to prepare must be set aside daily. It can’t be ignored.

Learn to prepare in advance. 


I will prepare and some day my chance will come – Abraham Lincoln

A lesson to learn from ants. Ant is called a superorganism and for the name it carries, it does an astounding work at labouring and preparing for winter. They prepare their body by putting on fat to withstand the long period of hibernation. Thus survive the terrible cold. 

‘Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. ‘ –  Proverbs 6:6-8

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com

The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™


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