Being an effective leader and a productive employee means taking some time out of your day to plan. You need to plan for projects and plan how you want your team to work together effectively. But there is a limit. There is only so much planning you can do, and when you spend more time talking than actually working, you can be harming your productivity. Whenever possible, you should be trying to streamline meetings and focus on making the planning process as simple and easy to understand as possible. Planning your work and talking with your employees should be a quick process. Here’s how to maximize it and spend more time working and being productive:
Planning Is Important, but Don’t Overdo It
In the same way that someone can overthink a situation and make a bad decision, you can over plan and micromanage a project and actually make things worse. You have to be comfortable delegating certain roles and letting your employees have a certain level of autonomy. Make sure that you have employees that you trust, and make sure that you put them in roles that you feel comfortable with. After that, you have to let them go to work and do their job. When you spend too much time planning and micromanaging, your team can feel like they have someone breathing down their neck. That’s when mistakes get made, when there is indecisiveness, and when emotions run high. You want your team to be comfortable and loose so that they can respond and adapt. Too many planning can weigh them down and make it hard for them to adjust.
The More Time You Spend In Meetings, the Less Time You Spend Being Productive
This one is simple—its opportunity cost. When you are spending the bulk of your day in meetings, you don’t have as much time to sit down and actually get to work. This might not be a big deal if you have a large meeting once in a while, but when your meetings are consistently running long, you might be wasting time that could be better spent actually being productive.
When You Spend Time Working, You Can Learn From Your Mistakes
When you are in meetings, you are talking about how you want things to happen. When you are actually working on projects, you are actually seeing what works and what doesn’t. Getting experience and actual feedback can help you to quickly change gears if you find out something isn’t working as well as it is supposed to. Sometimes when you over plan, you might commit to a particular strategy because you spent so much time on it, even if it isn’t giving you results. You need to be flexible and spend more time working and getting real-time feedback on what is working and what isn’t.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.