Taking ourselves on
It can be easy to go from meeting to meeting, making decisions on the fly, reading documents as they’re being discussed. I’ve even created a presentation during a meeting when I forgot I was due to present at it!2
You might think that’s the most efficient way of using your time and my diary is the same, a series of back to back meetings on a series of different issues. But without the time to reflect, you’ll end up making knee jerk responses, missing out on the opportunity to influence a project, or not spotting a risk you could have avoided.
After a period of stress, where I used cognitive behavioural therapy, I learnt to write a worry diary and now block out time to review the week ahead, you could argue I should be reviewing the fortnight if not the month ahead!
I also block out time to do work in between meetings, even if I’m still influenced by how much time I’ve got left after meetings, rather than how much time I need for work and which meetings I really need.
At one point, I put in half an hour time each day after work, to write my diary on how I felt about the day, what I’d achieved, what issues had come up and what I could do to tackle them and improve how I worked.
How do you use your time effectively?