As a leader, you are likely pulled in many different directions and don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done that you’d like to. This may involve going from meeting to meeting without a chance to catch your breath in between. Long term, this likely isn’t good for your mental (or physical) wellbeing. However, you may be wondering how it’s even possible to change this up? At this point, I should likely mention – as I’m sure you’re thinking – that as a business owner, being busy is a good thing. And that’s definitely the case. That said, it’s important to find some quiet or less hectic time in your day in order to give yourself a chance to think. As well, if you were to graph your work time over the course of a few weeks, you’d likely discover some inefficiencies. A couple of suggestions for giving yourself some space in your day is as follows:
- Be mindful of meetings. For instance, are there certain things that can be discussed with a quick 10 minute phone call or an email instead of booking a meeting? In other words, while meetings are absolutely important, not everything needs to be a sit down discussion. As well, is it a common practice to book 1 hour meetings? Try switching this up. There are many meetings that likely only need 30 minutes in order to accomplish what you set out to do. Sure, some meetings need to be longer, but often 30 to 45 minutes is all that you need. And if you schedule a 1 hour meeting and find that you resolved the issue, etc. in 45 minutes, there is nothing wrong with ending the meeting early. No need to feel obligated to stretch it out to an hour. This isn’t to suggest that the full meeting time needs to be “all business”, but it’s good to get into the habit of booking shorter meetings. Another meeting tip: build an agenda for each meeting and follow-it. This will help to keep things on track.
- If you have an administrative assistant, ensure that you are on the same page when it comes to booking your time. For example, it may be appropriate to build in 15 minutes between each of your commitments. Maybe your evenings don’t work for you to get in a fitness routine. Instead, blocking off a full 90 minutes at lunch may allow you to get in a run, some yoga, or meditation. Ensure that your assistant knows that this is untouchable time; otherwise, you risk other commitments getting booked into this space. As well, build time in your schedule that allows you to get some work done, which will also hopefully allow for some quiet contemplation time. Use your calendar (Microsoft Outlook, etc.) and stick to it.
If possible, be mindful of building in some time each week to just chat with your employees. And overall, keep in mind that the goal of this is to become a better boss and leader. It may take some time, but by putting in effort to plan your day, you’ll likely be more productive and feel better for it.