Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Making the Most of In-Between Time

Looking forward to the gaps

It happens to all of us. There are just days when we find ourselves stuck in meeting after meeting after meeting. Often, these meetings aren’t that productive, especially when they are longer than needed. I wrote about how Steve Jobs had great meetings and I did a podcast with some great meeting hacks.

But what happens between your meetings tells your brain whether or not you are feeling productive and happy. Spoiler alert: If you are jumping right back into email, you are not happy.  

This Harvard Business Review Article has a 3-minute video embedded. They guy isn’t the greatest public speaker, but his info is worth hearing. They discover that we waste 41% of our time on what we believe are “low value” tasks. How do you turn that “gap time” into productive time?

  1. In the morning, identify the gaps in your schedule and put “Priorities” in that space so someone else can’t steal it.
  2. Choose only one important item that you want to go after during that gap. If you’ve been in a meeting with me, you’ve probably heard me say, “I’m going to need to step away by about 2:50 for a priority, but I’ll be fully engaged before then.”
  3. Alternate easier and harder tasks to give yourself a breather.
  4. By the end of the week you can often knock out those little areas where you have been behind!

Here’s a bonus tip: If you have a shorter gap and you’re mentally spent, take a 5-10-minute walk and enjoy some fresh air. It will do wonders for your outlook and your productivity in your next meeting.

Try it once today. You’ll want to try it again after that!


Dr. Rob McCleland

Aka The Robster

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