Are you Zoomed-out .... or Dialed-In?
Back to back all day and only have time to do your work on nights and weekends?
Yes, Covid has allowed us to all finally work from home, but for many, our painful commutes have been replaced by Zoom fatigue. While much of my training focuses on how to master distraction and schedule your day for productivity- this becomes difficult if you don’t have time during your day to actually work.
I’ve recently found myself working more and more with clients on how to implement mindful meetings and humane scheduling.
You can read my other post about mindful meetings, but you may be asking, ‘What is humane scheduling?”
It’s recognizing more meetings don’t necessarily mean getting more done.
Instead, it means pausing before you schedule another meeting or click accept in your already overscheduled day. Essentially, you can work harder, but wouldn’t you prefer to work smarter? Let’s mindfully pause to consider the differences between the two.
With Our Colleagues
In the pause before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself:
- Is this meeting really necessary?
- Who really needs to be on this call?
- What can I do to prepare everyone so we accomplish our goal in the quickest amount of time?
- When should I host this call (high-cognitive times such as the morning- or after lunch?)
Before you schedule anything, look at your calendar to determine what your day looks like. This way, if you’re more creative in the morning and the meeting is monotonous – you can schedule it during a time you have less cognitive resources (like the end of the day).
Just because you have space on your calendar does NOT mean it should be filled.
At an organizational level
Humane scheduling means creating norms and structures that allow employees to have time for both work and meetings during acceptable work hours. One way to do this is for organizations to create structure by blocking out time during the day (or week) when meetings don’t occur so everyone can get their work done.
Yes, you heard me. Blocking out time for work rather than asking people to sacrifice personal time to catch up.
I’ve met with employees who’ve greatly benefited from their organizations adopting this structure. Some organizations even call it “concentration time.”
After reading this, use the next few days to mindfully pause before you schedule or click accept, and notice how you go from zoomed-out to dialed-in.
Remember, just because you have space on your calendar does NOT mean it should be filled.
You always have the choice to work on high priorities or strategic projects instead of the fire drill da jour.