If you want to be more organized and productive, keep reading for the single best piece of advice that I can share with you:
Don’t schedule more than ½ your week.
I did a workshop once with a large organization. They hired me because they felt their employees needed to be more organized and productive in how they worked. Within the first few minutes of the workshop, I realized the problem. The attendees shared with me how they were in back-to-back meetings nearly every day. As a result, they were regularly staying late, taking work home, or just not getting stuff done. Ever since, I make sure to share in my workshops that no tool, no app, no system, is a magic wand. They can help; but, nothing can replace you spending time in your office, getting work done.
The solution to that problem with that organization seems obvious, right? Stop being in back-to-back meetings. Yet, I wonder how many readers do the same thing without even realizing it. Are you, intentionally, scheduling time to get work done? Or do you flit from one appointment to the next without realizing how much time they are taking you away from your desk each week?
When you get an invitation to attend something,
do you simply look to see if you have a conflict on your calendar?
Or are you intentional about considering the whole week and
how much time you are giving away?
Yes, I hear some of you saying, "But I have no control over my time." If that’s you, I encourage you to really think about that. You may not have complete control but I’m quite certain you have some control. Stop and think about what you can change about your schedule instead of what you can’t. And if you’re in management, pause and consider what the meetings you schedule are doing to your employee’s productivity!
This concept is 100% true for me personally. When things get a little out of control for me, I can always point it back to violating this principle: I am out of my office more than I am in it. Certainly, there will be seasons for all of us when we just can’t help it. The success comes when it is not our default mode of operation.
So, I encourage you to take the ½ week challenge! You may have to plan ahead a few weeks because of previously made commitments but do try it. For four weeks straight, try not scheduling more than ½ your week and evaluate if/how your organization and productivity has increased.
May you have blessings and balance.