The workdays of executives are full and complicated. Their calendars are booked, and days and evenings are full of activities - meetings, lunches, events, etc. Each day brings new demands -- a request to sit in on a meeting, an invitation to lunch, the proposal for a new project.
Very often we say “yes” what is important, and those activities fill a never-ending list. However, when we schedule our time by reacting to requests, minute by minute our days get eaten away. We attempt to find more time in the day, but there is always another competing demand, or an unexpected diversion, that take our focus towards something else.
Clarity, vision and our connection to ourselves gets lost when we live like this. We forget what is most important to us, and we lose our sense of connectivity to the things that we value most.
The solution to an overly scheduled life is to take a step back and start with an empty calendar page. Remove everything from your schedule, and ask your yourself:
How would I choose to spend my time today?
What is most important to my day?
How can I include those things and still fulfill my other important obligations?
What you include might be an hour for exercise, more time with your family, or an hour for creative or strategic thinking. It might be an hour a day with members of your team to mentor and coach them. Whatever you choose will reflect your values, and what you instinctively know is important.
Make this a regular practice to evaluate demands on your time and ask - “Is this something that would fill my empty calendar-- and should be included in my day?” Ask yourself if it belongs on your schedule, or on someone else’s schedule.
As you make this practice a habit, your priorities will shift to the things that are most meaningful -- and your workdays will be infused with more fulfillment and purpose.