It used to be back to back meetings (grabbing a sandwich between meeting rooms or a quick cuppa as you passed the kitchen). Now it’s back to back Zooms - you don’t even get the luxury of moving between meetings.
If you book back to back video calls, when do you allow yourself to absorb information? Think about your perspective? Reflect on what has been discussed?
Those moments between the ‘doing’ is where we create, absorb, problem solve. It’s in these moments where we can do our best thinking, when we see clearly.
I’m hearing stories of people on Zoom calls for 8 - 10 hours a day. Eating lunch between two zooms and not even having time for a coffee. Is this an effective use of time? When one runs over, they show up late and flustered to the next. When they get to the end of the day, they can’t even remember what the first meeting was about - let alone start on their list of actions from the meeting.
As a leader, I would talk to my managers about the importance of downtime and creating space. I encouraged time at home, days without meetings, taking time at the start of the day to prepare themselves for the daily demands. But this is easier said than done.
> plan meetings for the time they need, don’t resort to 60 minutes slots just because that’s become the norm
> question who really needs to attend? If you don’t know why you’re there, question it.
> allow yourself time between meetings to reflect, absorb and reset.
> say no to meetings that are not properly defined, question the agenda, their purpose and objective
> take a lunch break (and regular breaks from your screen)
> capture key points from your meetings so you have a reference point later on in the day / week
> if you’re chairing a meeting, lead by example - stick to time, ensure accountability and true purpose.
> plan reflection time in the diary - for your and your team. Emphasise its importance.
If you're struggling to commit to dedicated reflection time, come along to a free 30 minute workshop for reflection every Monday in March at 8.30am.
Gemma Brown is an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation, working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.