When a person is told to get their ducks in a row, it means that they are advised to prepare and organize themselves for a chore or assignment. It prompts readiness.
To get your ducks in a row requires one to be articulate and have the ability to pay attention to details during the stage of preparation.
If you get your ducks in a row, it means you have taken all the necessary plans and procedures for the next task.
The literal meaning of to get your ducks in a row is to set up one’s duckpins, in a game of bowling, for the next game.
Another meaning involves real ducklings that walk in a line behind their parent. So, when you hear the phrase ducks in a row, the image of either duckpins or ducklings comes to mind.
Here are some great examples to help you understand the idiom “ducks in a row”.
“Get your ducks in a row, a lot of people are depending on you”.
“We need to get our ducks in a row today to prevent further casualty”
10 “Ducks in a Row” Synonyms
If you need to tell someone to prepare, organize, and ready themselves without using the idiom ducks in a row, here are some phrases that are similar to get your ducks in a row:
- Get prepared
- Make ready
- Get organized
- Cross your T’s, dot your I’s.
- Be on guard
- Be on the watch
- Get your affairs in order
- Have everything under control
- Take care of your responsibility
- Pay attention to details
The phrase get prepared is used to encourage someone to be ready to do something beforehand. It signifies to the person that they need to start preparing immediately.
This is the best way to describe the idiom get your ducks in a row. It is ideal to use it when you are working with a deadline.
Be prepared is another phrase similar to get prepared. Both are commands that tell a person to prepare. “Get prepared” interprets to start immediately or start now while “be prepared” implies always being ready.
A great example of the use of “get prepared” is: Your exams are starting on Monday, so get prepared.
Here is an example of the use of be prepared: You will write your exams anytime soon, be prepared.
Make ready means to make preparation, to do everything necessary, and to gear up oneself for an action. It also means to prepare something for use.
When you say make ready, there is a tone of expectancy which is the reason for the preparation. It means you are expecting something to arrive or to happen.
Make ready means prepare.
Here are examples of how to use make ready in a sentence:
While we await his arrival, I will make ready a room for him.
You must get ready the night before the general staff meeting.
The statement Get organized means to arrange one’s things in a manner that makes it easy to keep track of them and gives them structure.
When you tell someone to get organized instead of “Get your ducks in a row”, which is similar, you are simply telling them to categorize their plans in an ordered way.
They will not just prepare ahead; they will also need to make a to-do list or guidelines that will facilitate the timely completion of said plan.
Here are examples to aid better understanding: You are fully booked for October, get organized, to avoid disappointing any of your hosts.
Get organized for the competition, every detail is important for a high score.
Cross your T’s, dot your I’s.
Cross your T’s, dot your I’s is a phrase used to tell someone to pay very great attention to every small detail in preparing for their tasks.
This phrase is another way of telling someone to be meticulous and detailed when completing a task.
There are several phrases that explain the phrase cross your t’s and dot your i’s, they include: be meticulous, cross-check your work, and be thorough.
Check out the following examples that make clear the phrase cross your t’s and dot your i’s:
Your projects will be presented on Tuesday, ensure to cross your t’s and dot your i’s.
You have five minutes more, to thoroughly and carefully look through your work before you submit.
Be on guard
To be on guard means to be alert and always ready to react to impending threats and danger.
Be on guard is also a form of heads-up given to a person to remind them to be on the lookout for the start or arrival of something.
When you tell someone to be on guard, you are telling them to be careful and to prepare for the inevitable.
These examples will possibly give you a better understanding of the phrase:
Nobody knows when they will arrive but just be on guard.
We are expecting so many guests at the wedding, we need everyone to be on guard.
Be on the watch
When you tell someone to be on the watch, you are reminding them to pay close attention in order not to miss my detail.
Be on the watch can be used interchangeably with Be on alert. To be on the watch requires attentiveness. You have to give such tasks your undivided attention to limit errors and mistakes.
Look at the examples below:
Everyone should be on the watch, so we don’t miss any details.
There will be a thousand people at the show, so be on alert to identify an offender.
Get your affairs in order
Getting your affairs in order refers to the process whereby one is advised to organize their personal and financial matters while they are capable and able.
This preparation is always before any major step, life-changing event, in the case of long absence or death. Such preparation includes writing a will, appointing a trustee, etc.
“Get your affairs in order” is said when there is a possibility of an unexpected turn of events.
The following examples will help you understand the phrase: He was asked to get his affairs in order before his heart surgery.
You are not getting any younger, try and get your affairs in order.
Have everything under control
When you tell someone to have everything under control, you are simply telling them to take the necessary precautions during preparations to avoid problems in the main event.
Having everything under control means ensuring that everything is organized and arranged to the best of your ability to reduce the risk of things going amiss.
Examples to aid understanding of the phrase are:
We have everything under control for the board meeting tomorrow morning.
The weather is unpredictable, so ensure to have everything under control.
Take care of your responsibility
When you tell someone to take care of your responsibility, it means that whatever the task is, it is their obligation and that they will be held accountable for any flaws.
This can be a reminder to someone to do their part during the planning period to ensure the success of the event.
An example of the phrase in a sentence includes:
You have to properly take care of your responsibility to gain my trust.
Everyone has been assigned a role, please ensure to take care of your responsibilities.
Pay attention to details
The ability to pay attention to details is an acquired and developed skill. When you tell someone to pay attention to details, it means you expect them to thoroughly carry out their duties without any error.
If you are expected to pay attention to details, it means you are required to focus on all areas of an assignment down to the minute detail.
Examples of this phrase in a sentence are: Our client expects the best, failure is not an option, therefore, endeavor to pay attention to details.
Pay attention to the details of this project, any of you might be called to present it.
In conclusion, the phrase ducks in a row is used during the preparation and planning stage of an event, project, presentation, or task.
Get your ducks in a row can be said calmly, authoritatively, or harshly depending on the circumstance and tone of voice.
It can be used to motivate, encourage, and prompt concentration on a task at hand.
In the following sentences, we will replace ducks in a row with similar phrases.
You have to get your ducks in a row against the event tomorrow.
You have to get prepared for the event tomorrow.
Before you start processing your visa, ensure to have all your ducks in a row.
Before you start processing your visa, ensure to get your affairs in order.
December season is usually busy, get your ducks in a row to avoid disappointing your clients.
December season is usually busy, get your schedule organized to avoid disappointing your clients.