Most of you will agree that feeling underprepared is not a great feeling.

Unprepared, underprepared, unawares, however you choose to say it; it essentially means the same thing – not quite prepared and maybe even caught by surprise.

Whether it’s an occasion, an event, a sporting game or a meeting – being underprepared is not ideal for anyone.

Staying on top of things

It happened to me recently. Of course, it happens often in day to day life, but I usually try to stay on top of things as best I can. I was finishing up a meeting with a co-worker when he began asking about my next meeting, that I had been called to attend at last minute notice.

I answered his questions as best I could, he was curious and wanted to know what the meeting was about. He smirked and joked that I hadn’t done my homework. I smiled and looked down because I knew that that wasn’t entirely true – I knew the focus of the meeting, but I hadn’t completely readied myself for the discussion that would follow.

I had done all the pre-reading earlier in the week, but it was a lot of new information and some of it was still sinking in.

I should have almost expected to be called in to the meeting, then I would have been more prepared.

But I wasn’t.


And did I stuff up in the meeting? I don’t think so, no. I may not have had much to say but I took a lot of notes as this is how I tend to absorb information.

Lately, I have been thinking that this is something I need to stop doing.

There is so much advice out there about being present and living in the moment. I need to learn to trust myself, trust that I know what is going on and be comfortable in knowing that I don’t always need to take a mountain of seemingly unnecessary notes.

If I am asked a question after a meeting, I most often go from what I remember anyway, I rarely refer to my notes.

So, I’m going to stop taking as many notes in the meetings I attend.

Once I am clear that I do understand what is going on – because I understand people and relationships to some extent, I will just sit back and listen. I think when I allow myself to do this, and to be fully immersed in discussion, I will add more value.

I mean, I don’t take notes when discussing what my friend is up to on the weekend or when I ask how her work is going. I just remember what she says and offer expressions and/or advice. Sometimes I forget, and that is okay.

We don’t always need to remember everything.

I almost makes me nervous – not to take notes. It has become the way I work – it’s just what I do.

But I need to let go of my fear of missing something. Because realistically, I am missing what’s happening right in front of me. I am missing the passion, the fight, the belief in what people are saying and really this is not what I ever wanted to do.

I never thought the day would come when I would say this, but I think my notes are consuming me, and I really need to stop and allow myself to live in the moment.