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You Can't Be a Great Leader If You're In Meetings All Day

I'm writing this on a Thursday. Look at your calendar right now. If you have more than 4 meetings lined up between now and the end of the week, you are not being as effective of a leader as you can be.

Here's how I know that: If you have 5+ meetings set up in the next 36 hours you are lacking the systems that will free up your time and energy to do your most important work.

Not only that: you are actually perpetuating a team culture where the appearance of work (i.e. meeting) is held in higher regard than actually doing work.

This can be hard to hear, but letting it in will empower you to take bold action to get your time back and love your life as a leader again.

Here are some steps you can take if you've decided you want to spend more time focused on creative work that gets you closer to your goals and less time in meetings:

Instead of just accepting every request that comes you way, ask if the meeting could be a document instead, or if the agenda (there is an agenda, right?) warrants your participation.

Bowing out in order to focus on the work that moves the needle will send a message that you trust the people involved to make the right decisions.

If you don't yet have the systems and culture in place to do this right now—for whatever reason—put time on your calendar to set up the systems so you can start saying no to more meetings.

Think about the top three time wasting meetings in your week and what would need to be happening for you to stop doing them. Use the time you set aside to make those things happen. Whether it's removing that meeting entirely, changing it to an asynchronous standup where everyone reports, or delegating control of the meeting your future self will thank you for taking a stand for your time.

Removing meetings from your life as a manager will help you get back your time and life. Evenings and weekends should not be your best focus time for your job. As a leader, it is your duty to give yourself and everyone else on your team focus time during the work day. You can do this.

If you want to develop a strategy for leading your team to greater productivity and focus, schedule a free session with me and we'll figure out a plan.

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