I always get the clients I am working with to block out time in their calendars for reflection, deep work, strategic thinking – all the things that often get squeezed in or – more often – don’t even get a look in.
But recently I did a different exercise with one of my new leadership groups – I asked them to look back through their calendars over the last three months and see which meetings/conversations had been fruitful and productive and which had not really shifted the dial in any way, shape or form.
Some interesting patterns emerged.
Generally, the least successful ones were the ones where they’d been invited, often last minute, without much real thought as to why their presence was required.
Some project group meetings were clearly pointless – they were discussing the same topics week in and week out without making much headway.
A couple of people realised that their 1-1s with team members had become a bit of a tick box exercise and needed to be beefed up. And shorter.
Someone else realised she and her deputy were both in one weekly meeting when it only really needed one of them.
I highly recommend this exercise to you, too. It’s thought provoking and liberating (and enables you to free up some more time for the important stuff).