How does that sound to you? It sounds amazing to me. Have you ever said any of the following; ‘I’m busy’, ‘I have no time’, ‘I would like to, but’, ‘there is not enough hours in the day’, ‘I could have done it, but’, or many other devastating comments we make every day that prevent us from living our very best life. I have, and I know there are things I could have done better had I thought differently and worked smarter. How would you like to find out how to save time and actually get more done?
Do I hear a yeeha? The great illusive question we all ask is how do I find more time? The answer is simple, you can’t. Sorry to say it, but there are only 24 hours in the day, you can’t create more. Except for one day of the year, when we turn our clocks back at the end of daylight savings. However, that 25-hour day is offset by the 23-hour day when we turn our clocks forward. So, just forget I ever brought that up. If we can’t find more time, how do we create the illusion of more time? Great question. It was my father, and his love of jigsaw puzzles, who provided an answer for me.
My father has a long history of jigsaw puzzling. He has loved them for decades, and it has made buying Christmas and birthday presents for him very easy. In fact, I just bought him a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas 2022. When we were younger, my brother, sister, and I would always buy Dad a jigsaw puzzle as a gift. He has them all; scenery puzzles, architecture puzzle, people puzzles, animal puzzles, car puzzles, and every kind of puzzle you can think of, except one. When we were troublesome teenagers, my brother and I decided to buy him a different kind of jigsaw. It was a playboy puzzle, with a naked lady as the image. Dad was quietly pretty happy about it, Mum, not so much.
As Dad started feverishly putting the puzzle together, my brother and I decided to play a little prank on him. When he was elsewhere, we rummaged through all the pieces and lifted two of them. I am sure you can imagine which two we snatched. We watched Dad with joy as he put that puzzle together quicker than we had ever seen him complete a jigsaw before. Just as he neared completion, we could tell he knew something was up. It was confirmed when he had no pieces left, and two crucial ones missing. It was at that time my brother and I quickly hid as my father chased us around the house yelling, ‘Where are my bonza bits?’
We surrendered his bits, and he happily completed his puzzle. So, what’s the point? There is no point really, I just love that story! Anyway, I was recently visiting my dad and he was preparing to put his newest and a more appropriate jigsaw puzzle together. The key word here is ‘preparing’. He had all the pieces sorted into several containers based on the colours and sections of the puzzle. I asked him why he did that, and he told me because it saved so much time sorting through all the pieces to complete the puzzle. This way he could work one section at a time and get it done much quicker. So, get more done in a shorter time. It sounds like a great idea to me.
That is the power of preparation. It can seem like such a time waster, can’t it? It just seems like all this time is devoted to doing something that seemingly is having no effect. But what it’s really doing is supercharging you and your aspiration to do more in less time. When I mentor aspiring authors, we spend a lot of time in the vision creating, belief building, planning and chapter outline creation stage before one word gets written. Why? Because without the right foundation and plan, most authors get lost, lose faith, and give up. If they do keep going, it will take two or three times longer to finish a first draft, than if some time was devoted to preparation.
You may have heard the ‘sharpen the axe’ analogy. If you have a blunt axe and need to chop down a tree, you have two choices. Get straight into it and bludgeon your way through or spend a little bit of time sharpening the axe before starting. Which is wiser? Which will take less time and get the job done much easier? You know the answer to that, don’t you. The question is, are you sharpening your axe with everything you are trying to create, develop or change, or just trying to bludgeon your way through? The time you spend on proper preparation will multiply your results and get you there much quicker.
In my podcast this week with Jemma Armstrong called Jamming with Jemma, we discuss her journey to become a successful children’s performer. She was trying to bludgeon her way through with limiting beliefs, and an ADHD diagnosis, and was on the verge of giving up. Then she decided to spend time on herself, to build herself, understand and accept herself, and learn to love herself. This investment of time to prepare herself for the journey has unblocked her and now things are growing and flowing with ease. It is an inspiring conversation about the importance of emotional preparation.
Many people say the secret to success is the will to succeed. The reality is that it is actually the will to prepare to succeed that is more important. Many people with a will to succeed, including myself, dive headlong into things without preparation only to find themselves burned out, broken, and lost. With preparation comes confidence and clarity, and with confidence and clarity, and desire, comes amazingness. Spend a little time to prepare and, trust me, you will save time and do more.