I’m trying to get better at preparation.

It may seem weird, but prep gets more important the further I go in my career, not less. It’s true that with more experience winging it is easier. But it’s also true that with more experience there are far fewer low-stakes, dubious value activities.

I’ve gotten expert at saying no. That means the stuff I do is disproportionately high value, or high potential. If I’m going to do it it’s gotta be worth doing.

And if it’s worth doing, it’s worth prepping.

Even a 20 minute phone call is worthy of at least as many minutes of prep, background, research, outlining, goal-setting, and getting in the right frame of mind. Maybe two or three times as many.

I’ve only begun to realize this, and it’s a challenge. I’m a snap judgement gut based wing it kind of guy. But the prep pays. If I’m going to show up, I want to do it with intention and focus. I want to know what I’m trying to get.