About rushers and preparers

By johannatime On February 21, 2013 Under Getting Organised

Some people are always in a rush, yet always late, and they always have a plausible excuse for it, too (needed to finish something, traffic, couldn’t find the place, you know what I mean). Let’s call them ‘the rushers’ for now. Some people are never late, because they accept the fact that preparation and travel cost time, too, and they consistently follow this up in a disciplined way. ‘The preparers’ obviously. If you are in the former group, and always have to run, be late and make up excuses, this is how the latter does it: Preparers begin with the end in mind: they prepare carefully for their commitment. And then they simply plan backwards:

  • A preparer scans their calendars regularly for upcoming commitments, making sure no deadline is missed, and enough time is allocated for preparation. ‘Enough’ for a preparer is usualy overestimated, a rusher tends to underestimate preparation time.
  • Once a commitment is near (a rusher considers this is far away at that stage) a preparer naturally starts planning: ‘So what is this commitment about? What do I need for a succesful outcome?’ And preparers prepare themselves, makes a checklist or packs their bags well in advance. No rush.
  • A preparer includes transition time: ‘How long will it take me to find my way when I get there?’ And they estimate how long they’ll need to search for the address and find where they needed to go. Note to the rusher: It takes a lot longer than you think if you’ve never been there before!
  • A preparer includes travel time: ‘How long will it take me to travel there?’ Preparers also anticipate on 20% unlucky traffic lights time, or more, depending on the traffic situation, which they would check, too.
  • And then the preparer does the maths: ‘To be on time for my commitment, I need to have left by x am/pm. For a preparer, this is a solid deadline. A rusher may already start consuming their unlucky traffic light time.
  • By knowing this deadline, the preparer plans when to finish other activities and start getting ready. They will not take on another commitment that would compromise meeting this deadline, whereas a rusher may be ambitious to squeeze something in.

Many preparers are annoyed or even frustrated by the way rushers handle their commitments. For a preparer, being on time expresses that they care. Rushers, on the other hand, have plenty of confidence that it will be allright. So my tip for the preparers: Bother too, to prepare for the rusher you have your commitment with, to be late. Bring some work or read a book whilst waiting for them, and your time will not be wasted.

Do preparers lead more succesful lives? Not necessarily. Do rushers experience more stress? I’m sure they do. So what are you? Please share in the comments below:

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    3 Trackbacks

    1. The benefits of doing nothing at all | Time Mine
      December 19, 2013 2:03 PM
    2. Habit of the month April: Create extra time and never be late | Time Mine
      April 1, 2014 9:02 AM
    3. A productive meeting is your responsibility | Time Mine
      July 30, 2015 10:48 AM


    4 Comments Add yours

    1. itgrrl
      March 22, 2013
      10:08 am #comment-1

      Wait, so now preparers have to manage the unpreparedness of rushers as well? Pfft. Wait 10 minutes after the appointed time, then leave. Otherwise you’re actually training rushers that being unprepared is fine and has no consequences.

      I half-jest. But seriously, it’s perfectly reasonable to be ‘prepared’ to jettison people who—unconsciously or not—demonstrate a lack of care or respect for others through consistent inability to meet commitments.

      • johannatime
        March 22, 2013
        11:18 am #comment-2

        I can totally see your point, ItGrrl! Thing is, we cannot change someone else, we can only change and in this case prepare ourselves. I always make rushers feel very guilty when they turn up late at an appointment 😉

    2. Ellis
      April 16, 2013
      5:00 am #comment-3

      Hm, I think I have definitely been more of a rusher in the past few years than I would like to be, I need to do that GTD collect all action items and start all over again…

      • johannatime
        April 16, 2013
        6:21 am #comment-4

        Take it easy Ellis: underpromise so you can overdeliver. Good luck and if you need me, just let me know.

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