Do you have too much workload? Do you have too many tasks and too many meetings? Are you feeling overwhelemd by the amount of things to do? Are you frequently missing out on oppourtunities?
Schedule less to get more done!
It is a paradox: If you want to get more done, you schould schedule less.
Schedule less meetings
What’s the point in having decision-makers sitting in meetings 40 hours a week, secretly answering their e-mails?
It’s common sense. But I ensure you, it is not common practice: If you want to have a productive 40 hour work week, you should not schedule meetings for more than 20 hours at max. This number includes phone calls, web meetings and one-on-ones. The rest should be reserved for your other workload.
Be carefull: This number should probably even be much lower for you. Only if your wokr benefits strongly from face-to-face interaction (be it in person or virtual), scheduling half of your time with meetings might be reasonable. Otherwise it is not. And it would stop your from finishing your workload.
Examples for this “people work” are leadership roles, building relationships to clients, performing sales pitches, etc. If your work does not include this type of work, this number should be significantly lower.
Schedule less tasks
The same is true for tasks. Do never plan to your full capacity. Unexpected emergencies will happen. Some tasks will take longer than expected. And interruptions will happen – no matter how well you are set up to avoid distractions.
If your to-do-list becomes too long, it starts draging you down. Find ways to reduce the number of items on your list. First prioritize. If it’s still too much: Trick yourself into perceiving your to-do-list as shorter than it actually is.
Why is it important not to schedule too much work?
Crossing off the last item on your to do list in the evening gives a feeling of achievement. On the other hand if you take on too much, your to-do-list can easily grow into a productivity killing list of shame.
Protect your health
It’s well proven that too much stress and too much work will be bad for your health. Too much preplanned time inevitably leads to stress as soon as unexpected things happen. And they will always happen.
Increase quality of your work
Looming meetings drag your attention for your work at hand. You might not realize it, but at least a part of your subconscious mind is already in the meeting. It’s playing out the politics and tactics and trying to prepare. With a mind free from this distraction, you can focus better and increase the quality of your work.
You need some degree of flexibility to take care of unexpected issues and – even more important – to seize opportunities. If you are completely occupied with processing what’s planned you will miss out on the odd, the creative and the new.
Keep space in your day to go for the great things happening beyond any plan.