Years ago, my former brother-in-law repeated a mantra he learned in the Marines that has stayed with me ever since. He called it the 6 Ps: “Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.”

Modica way

Wikipedia lists other permutations of this adage, including the so-called 7 Ps of “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevent Piss Poor Performance,” but the six-word version is what I learned. Every Sunday, I spend a good part of the day preparing for the coming week, packing lunches and setting out not just one but five outfits, each coordinated down to the jewelry. On any given morning, I don’t have time to stand in front of my closet wondering what to wear, so it makes the day go more smoothly if I can simply jump in the shower, knowing that day’s outfit is at the top of the pile.


Following the 6 Ps isn’t the most exciting way to spend a Sunday, but if a little preparation makes a hectic week go more smoothly, I’m all for it. When my Monday morning alarm goes off, it’s a relief to know I don’t have to think about packing a lunch, gathering my books, or doing anything else that requires an awake attention to detail. Instead, my teaching bag is ready to go, and all I have to do is show up for another whirlwind week.