This year has been a tough one for many reasons.
Two tragic events – one family death – my wonderful sister – and one natural disaster (flooding) in our village that, frankly, have been almost too momentous to take in.
I count my blessings. Our house was hardly touched in the floods – but so sad to see friends and neighbours who lost so much.
I want to talk about #everydaypowerlessness at work – the things which, on the surface, might simply seem annoying or frustrating and even trivial – but can, over time, erode your confidence, your self- belief and your ability to do great work.
I hate feeling stuck. Unfocused, unsure, blurry…… anxious.
That feeling of not being able to make a decision despite mulling it over in your mind for hours on end or boring everybody with the same dilemma time and time again.
One minute you ‘make the decision’ only to change your mind again half an hour later.
I’ve been fired twice.
Once from a seasonal job in Switzerland – for insubordination. (If you know me, that won’t surprise you at all – and in my defence, I was very young). And a year or so later for not ‘looking the part’ (my ‘just out of student life’ gear didn’t work in the hallowed world of posh interior design).
Do you stick to what you know (the ‘boring, done it for years, can do it with my eyes shut’ stuff) when you’re faced with something ambiguous, vague, scary or new? The ‘out of comfort zone’ task, project or conversation?
Does what one of my Facebook group members said recently sound familiar?
Yet another day chasing your tail, wondering how you’re going to get through that meeting, lead your team, talk sense with your boss AND have time to eat lunch?
If someone tells you to ‘manage your time better’ you’re going to scream or run away swearing under your breath.
What’s the cure?
Many people in my Effortless Leader Facebook group are stepping up into new roles with new teams so I produced this checklist to help them focus on the right things.
I recently shared a post giving you 7 ways to significantly reduce your meeting times. One of my loyal (and very experienced) readers Harry Brooks read the article and added these additional tips which I think are great!
We all know that our best learning takes place when we are ‘outside our comfort zone’ – but not so far out that we want to run for the hills. I know my deepest and most long lasting growth has come when I’ve had to confront something I’ve been avoiding or take on a challenge that felt new and scary.
I also know that for me and for many of my clients it’s easy to stay in a ‘comfort zone of busy-ness’. And whilst we say ‘I’d love to be less busy’ or ‘I’d love to have more time for myself/my family’ we just keep on doing ‘stuff’ that we’ve always done.
It never ceases to amaze me how badly led many meetings are. The same people ramble on and on, the same people never say a word, everyone repeats what everyone else says or there are so many tangents you need another meeting to follow up on the meeting…and so it goes on.
I’ve shared some ways to reduce your meeting time before but so many of you have told me recently that one of your aspirations is to get more of the important things done, that I thought they are worth repeating.
Here are seven of my top tips to help you make best use of your meeting time: