Do you have a reservation? The Two Minute Save!

There were going to be eight of us for dinner at 7:00 on a Saturday evening.

We were traveling in from different parts of the city. That called for some coordination.

The meeting held importance for us and so the particulars of where and when had an elevated consequence.

We could easily have just decided to meet and hope for a table to be available or wait for one. Yes, that was an option. The better option though was to confer with the restaurant and let them know that there would be a party of eight there at 7:00 PM and confirm they would be able to accommodate us.

They could. So as we each arrived we were able to be seated straight away. No waiting. No rushing about by staff figuring out where to put eight people in a crowded restaurant on a busy Saturday evening.

The entire process took less than two minutes. But the time and stress it saved for everyone involved cannot even be fully measured.

Imagine if we took this care routinely with important appointments in our daily agendas. Imagine what would happen if we took that extra two minutes to plan in a way that allowed others (and ourselves) to prepare. That is the lesson in this. There is a partnership between planning and preparing that cannot be ignored. All too often we are guilty of over-planning and under-preparing.

Let’s dig a bit deeper. We place things on our calendar every day. That’s the plan part. But all too often, we don’t ask ourselves who else might need to know about that plan. Because of that, the results of the plan may not be what we need or want them to be. That two minutes can make the difference between whether or not the plan is fully resourced or chock full of risk that we won’t have who or what we need at the time we need them.

It is a two step process within a strategic approach. Creating the plan and then preparing for its success. Here are some basic questions to consider that will make that two minute difference for complete success:

  1. Who else needs to know about the plan?
  2. What information or other resources do I need to provide to them in advance?
  3. What are the possible outcomes and next steps for each possibility?
  4. Is my schedule, etc. ready to adapt and take on those outcomes?
  5. Do I have other resources on alert, ready to respond if/when needed?

In the world of business intelligence we might refer to this step as impact analysis. Within the idea of success or life intelligence, it could be referred to in the same way. What is the actual impact for others and their resources and my own? Are we ready for successful outcomes? Or will we be surprised by success and scrambling?

It’s clear that this level of preparation won’t apply to every item on our calendars. However, I would challenge all of us that if the majority of things on our schedule don’t carry some element of this importance level we may need to look at why not. We may need to step back and stop being so busy that we are failing to be productive. Which will bring us right back to this conversation and the fact that balance begins here: planning and preparing together.

Live (plan and prepare) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (plan and prepare) well!


  1. I agree about planning and preparation. This was well written and you concisely told benefits of adequate planning. I recently saw that even though I can do things off the cuff, just taking a little more time and writing out what I wanted for a narration put me at ease and still gave me the flexibility if I chose to change something last minute. At least, I didn’t panic, unsure of what I was to say next in my recording.
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  2. I love the two step process within a strategic approach suggestion, it was easy for me to adapt the article AS it relates to SALES to my T.E.A.M. Program and really put some MOJO to work. Creating the plan and then preparing for its success are an excellent way to STRIVE toward and end GOAL. And it a great way to cut down on time spent in the wrong places. The more time SPENT in the right places, puts you the RIGHT PLACES – MORE.

    Knowing exactly who else needs to know about the plan is such a critical component, even if they have not committed to participate, it is still important to know who else WILL be at least invited to that WINNERS CIRCLE.

    Providing the information or other resources to them in advance, is the easy part when done as a team. The team element demonstrates there is a team involved and to get the information and resources, they have to meet with the team, not just a one on one with a team member. Often, that is what causes teams to fall apart or be ineffective at WINNING. To win, the entire team needs to show up.

    The possible outcomes and next steps for each possibility should be understood in every case and for example, had only four people shown up at the dinner, the restaurant would have lost four seats which could of generated a greater days revenue, the four people that showed up may have felt embarrassed and that they wasted their time to join the group because half of them were not there. It is a LOSE, LOSE situation. We often accommodate that occurrence when organizing networking meeting with the feel good phrase, “The People that are here, are Supposed to be here”, we convince ourselves of things all the time to make us feel better.

    I enjoyed the article! Thank you!

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