Is your calendar full ? And are you running five minutes late for one meeting and finishing another five minutes early to be in time for the next ? You walk into your cabin at 10 am and then the next time you look up its 8 pm and there is one last call to attend…. Familiar ? And yeah a huge satisfied smile for a day well spent.
For many a professional this is a trap that they walk into with no thought and then get so busy that there is no time to think. The worst is days turn into weeks into months and into years … And as one steps into the grave, you realise you ran up the wrong hill and the views from the top are not as spectacular 🙂 or as Stephen Covey says your ladder of success was leaning against the wrong wall.
Watch how you spend time at work, are the meetings helping you achieve some goal or are they just update meetings/ FYI meetings or “someone likes hearing their voice and wants an audience” meeting. It is an honest day’s work if you moved closer to whatever your stated goals are for the month/year or decade, even if you spent just 5 minutes and had just one meeting or even no meeting. Learn to feel fulfilled with results and not with a fully filled calendar. You have just eight hours at work, guard your time like a zealot. Anything that does not build a relationship or help another colleague or is not pointed towards a goal, is a waste of time.
I have a simple way of avoiding meetings – if I am in listen only mode, I just refuse to attend those meetings going forward. Most of my meetings are 30 mins … It does hurt the feelings of some folks, but if you can’t tell me your idea in two minutes.. Ok five minutes, you really can’t explain it to me in two hours ! The third thing I do is ask for the pre-read, so that no one has to read through the slides during the meeting. Ok, I can see some of you guys smiling, I have no patience for more than ten slides with font size of 20+ :):):) and I am notorious for asking what’s the central point one is trying to make !
The trap of being busy is real and lulls you into believing you are achieving something… Watch out – remember a wise HR leader’s question “Do you have twenty years of experience, or is it one year repeated twenty times”.. The trap of “busy-ness” is, it will make you believe you are gaining experience, while you are actually just repeating the same year, every year.