A “post-mortem” is when a person dies in unknown circumstances and a doctor carries out an investigation to determine the cause of death.
A pre-mortem is predicting a failure that hasn’t happened and working backwards to identify potential causes. The idea is to see a problem before it appears. A similar concept to prehab over rehab. What exercises can I do before my shoulder gives out? How can I modify my diet before I get diabetes? It could be argued we have the power to see many of our problems before they happen, if we take the time each day to visualise and prepare.
What do your pre-mortems look like? Have you developed a framework for what you will do when you have a bad day? You know that there will be days when you wake up and feel like shit. Foul form and in no mood to deal with any one or any task. What are you going to do when this happens? Because you know they’re going to happen and you can’t excuse your poor behaviour on having a bad day.
Make out a list of a few things that will help. Go for a walk, remember to slow down and breath, coffee, eat, read a passage from an inspiring book or send a message to a friend who understands the position you’re in. Plan this now so when it happens you know what to do. You have a fire extinguished near areas that are potential fire hazards for this very reason. You think ahead. Plan for when the worst case scenario happens.
How will you react when you face a financial crisis? Are you saving for that now? Are you managing your outgoings? Are you making sure you aren’t spending more than you earn? What will you do in the case of your partner leaving you? Or a family member dying? Or your house burning down? Or if you break your leg? What will you do?
These are all worst case scenarios but situations that present themselves every minute of every day in someones life, somewhere. Would you rather be the person who has spent some time in discomfort preparing so when the time comes you are ready? Or the person who is caught off guard and cannot make the right decision at the time?
Prepare your pre-mortems now.