After a day of meetings, phone calls and email communication, are you left feeling wiped out, yet unfulfilled? You know … that feeling of being super-busy but REALLY accomplishing little?
I think I may have figured out the cure.
It’s simple and may only take a bit more time … thoughtful time.
When you are reviewing your schedule for the day, take a moment to think about what you want to get out of each of those interactions (meetings, phone calls, etc.) with others. If you are making appointments with others, make note of your objectives for those meetings. Set an agenda or list the topics to be discussed and/or decisions to be made.
Before engaging in one of these scheduled interactions, ask yourself:
- Why do I need to have this interaction? What is the purpose?
- If this is a meeting/call someone else has scheduled, make sure you understand its purpose before accepting it.
- What do I hope to accomplish? Some examples might include:
- Gather information/understand other’s perspectives
- Make decisions
- Build a relationship/expand my network
- Share information and gain buy-in
- Provide performance feedback
- Coach/mentor this person
- Are the right people in the room? Based on what you want to accomplish, confirm you are spending your time wisely by making sure the right players are present. Otherwise, you’ll be having second and third meetings on the same topic to bring people up to speed.
By being intentional in each interaction, you are able to remain focused on what needs to be accomplished – “the prize.” Your interactions become more efficient and effective for everyone involved.
People will want to engage with you because the time you spend together is productive. They will learn that they, too, need to have a defined purpose for those scheduled meetings/calls when they are asking for your time – after all, we teach people how to treat us by the behaviors we tolerate.
You earn a reputation for getting things done … the right things.
Finally, you can reflect on your busy day and experience that sense of accomplishment, and perhaps even enjoyment, from all those interactions.
By being intentional throughout your day, you find meaning in your day.
A lifetime of meaningful days = a meaningful life!
Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.