One day when I was going to a job interview at the BBC (30+ years ago) I was dressed in my suit and tie when I realised my shoes were dirty. I can remember with startling clarity the scene as I smeared a good dollop of Cherry Blossom on my shirt, and realised that was my only clean, smart shirt.
30 minutes later I left the house with my tie covering the gap where the buttons of my slightly dirty, too-small, second best shirt.
The reason I remember it, more than I can actually remember the interview itself, was that as I realised I had ruined the one decent thing I had to wear I could feel the panic growing. When I discovered that I had no back-up I felt like my head was going to explode.
That’s what adrenalin can do for you.
So, if you have a big day, clean your shoes when you’re in your jammies.
And, do everything else that will eliminate the possibility of panic setting in.
Never, ever, EVER, expect the printer to work 5 minutes before you have to leave for a big event.
Always assume that there will be a major accident on the way.
Always assume the laptop will fail.
Always assume the client’s system is running Windows 1972 and no software will work.
Always assume you will lose your notes (as a client did 2 minutes before a £1bn presentation – sitting on them) and make a copy.
None of this will guarantee things go well, but it will sure reduce the likelihood.