Lasse Schultebraucks IT Consultant

Are you busy or productive?

What does your calendar look like? Is it packed with meetings or do you have enough time for concentrated work?

Meetings. The ultimate productivity killer. Many meetings can keep people busy, but this is no guarantee for results. Meetings can not only take away time, but also ideas, potential, concentration. Furthermore, it can lead to unnecessary stress and frustration, even burnout. I don’t want to talk completely bad about meetings, there are meetings that make sense, but meetings in which 2-3 people talk and 7 others listen belong rather less in this category.

Always looking busy and disappearing into meetings is unfortunately commonplace in many companies. But there are effective methods. Often, a phone call or a well-worded e-mail leads to the goal.

It is not professional to waste 80% of your time in meetings. On the contrary, you are professionally resigning from meetings that are not relevant to you or leaving meetings that are no longer relevant to you. Sitting out meetings to look busy to colleagues and your boss does not lead to more productivity.

To work productively, you just need to follow some basic rules.

First of all, define a task that is most important to you at the moment. Focus on exactly this task and do not do other tasks in parallel. Multitasking is a myth and only leads to the fact that we need more time to do the same number of tasks “at the same time”, one after the other. If a task seems too big, divide it into several smaller tasks.

Your calendar isn’t just there to get cluttered with meetings. Make time and schedule your task in timeboxes throughout the day or week. This is not always possible, but most of the time you will always find free time to concentrate on your work. Schedule this with your top 1 priority task. Timeboxing is a very effective way to schedule tasks and has many advantages over a simple todo list. You can immediately see how much time you have and if the tasks you have set for yourself are realistic to complete.

You can also set personal goals for the day. At the beginning of the day, ask yourself what you want to have done by the end of the day. At the end of the day, see if you have achieved the goal. This will give you a better feeling about your performance on the day and help you plan better.

When I was a student, I wrote a post about how I plan my week using Todoist and Google Calendar. This has worked well since then and I still do it currently.