Tip: Anticipate the next step!


One of the things that I have observed that truly amazes me is how people wait until the last minute to do things that would be much easier to do if they prepared in advance. In this particular Tip, I want to give you 3 different examples that I believe many of us face on a regular basis. If you will simply plan ahead and anticipate what is going to happen when you face each of these situations, your life will be less stressful and much more manageable. Let’s get started.

1. Making a bank deposit – First of all, I realize many banks allow you to make camera deposits. But whenever I need to go to the bank, the teller lines are always backed up and slower than Christmas! I am amazed at how many people wait until they get to the teller’s window to begin to create their bank deposit. It is as though they have no idea what is going to take place when they encounter the bank teller. How hard would it be to get the deposit slip or any other transaction detail completely ready before you pull up to the window? All it takes is a little forethought and planning.

When making a deposit, all you need are the endorsed checks you are going to deposit and a completed deposit slip. And, in many cases you no longer even all of those items. If you need to get some cash in return, you will probably need to show some kind of identification. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to go ahead and have your driver’s license ready to show the teller in order to make the transaction go smoother and quicker?

It just makes sense, yet I challenge you to notice what happens the next time you are in a line at the bank. The vast majority of people wait until they get all the way up to the teller to begin the process. Then, to put the icing on the cake, they often ask the teller if he or she has a pen they can borrow. It just baffles me!

Life is so much easier on you and on others when you are prepared!

2. Getting your hair cut or styled -It is not wise to wait until the last minute to make an appointment to have your hair cut or styled. If you do, you may end up having it done by someone who is unfamiliar with you and has never before done your hair. That can be disastrous!

Whenever I need a hair cut, I always call in advance to see what my stylist’s hours are and what days she will be working. I like to have the same person do it each time because I am familiar with her and she is familiar with me. I know that she always does a good job. It only takes a minute to call in advance to find out her hours and when she will be available and then accommodate my schedule to hers.

I have found this to be a wonderful stress reducer because I never walk into an unknown situation. I am prepared and know in advance what will take place because I am working with someone I have worked with many, many times in the past.

3. Getting a prescription filled – If you call your medical doctor and ask him or her for a prescription, you know before you ever call that they are going to want to know which pharmacy you use. Do you have the pharmacy phone number prepared to give them? Are you ready in advance with what the physician will need in order to help you? You will need to have the name, address and phone number of the pharmacy that is closest to you so that you do not have to make several phone calls back and forth between the pharmacy and the physician’s office trying to get the task accomplished.

Sometimes the pharmacy will need other information: Is it a new prescription, or is it a refill? I always have the name of the prescription and any related prescription numbers, as well as the physician’s name, ready to give the pharmacist. In other words, I try to do everything I can to make the experience simpler for everyone involved by having all of the information in front of me before I even start the process. It can all happen smoothly, quickly and painlessly, if you are prepared!

Now, I know you are probably thinking, “Isn’t this common sense? Doesn’t everybody think about these things in advance?” I can assure you that the answer is a resounding, “Absolutely not!” As my father always said, “Common sense is not all that common!”

I would venture to say that 9 out of 10 people do not think about anything in advance. They wait until a situation is in “stress mode” before they start the process of trying to resolve it. And, that is the point of this entire Tip. If you are prepared and anticipate what the next step is going to be in advance, it takes much of the unnecessary pressure off you. It puts you in a posture to deal with things in a sensible, calm manner without having to live in crisis mode. It does take a little bit of forethought and planning, but it is well worth the effort.

So, the next time you must go to the bank, get your hair done or fill a prescription, I hope the information in this Tip comes to mind. The whole purpose of these Tips is to make your life better, using wisdom and experience that has been gleaned over the years by me and by others who have shared their wisdom and insights with me.

I don’t know about you, but I find that there is enough daily stress in life without us creating more for ourselves! I prefer a day that is full of productivity and not much stress, rather than the other way around. However, each person must make their own choices and decisions. So, if you prefer less stress and more productivity, I would encourage you to think ahead, plan ahead and anticipate what the situation you are walking into might look like and prepare in advance in order to make your experience more successful, less stressful and easier on everyone involved. It sure makes life sweeter. Wouldn’t you agree?

Tip: Anticipate the next step!

Have a great week! God bless you!

Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Dr. Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.

Top selling author and speaker, Robert Rohm Ph.D. is founder of Personality Insights Inc. and The Robert Rohm Co. As you will see, Dr. Rohm specializes in helping people better understand themselves and others.