Let Me Breathe

Hi, this is Cyril from Work Smarter, Live Better.

In this video, I want to share with you one simple advice which can make your days in the office more productive and less stressful.

In all the years that I’ve been working with managers and their teams, I’ve seen two extreme calendars. On one side you have what I call the empty calendar, and the empty calendar is a calendar that looks pretty empty. The person only records meetings with others and there’s only a few per day. So you would have for example in the morning, one team meeting and in the afternoon there might be one client meeting and the rest of the day is pretty empty. That person might be super committed that day. They might have lots of thing to do but it doesn’t show.

On the other side you have what I call the crazy calendar. And the crazy calendar is from 8-9, I’ve got a meeting, from 9-10, I’ve got a meeting, from 10-12, I’ve got a meeting, from 12-2, I’ve got a meeting and so on, and the day is full of meetings of back to back meetings.

I was working with a client last week, a big professional service firm, and they say “Cyril, our calendar is even different.” They’ve got another extreme call it ‘the Tetris Calendar’. And the Tetris is, we have 2 meetings at the same time or sometimes 3 meetings at the same time and they try to really get together like the Tetris game.

My suggestion on this one is quite simple: Let me breathe. I repeat: Let me breathe. Make sure that your calendar breathes. You have a meeting from 8-9. From 9 to 9:15 or from 9 to 9:30 nothing, you breathe. From 9:30 to 11 you have another meeting. From 11 to 11:30 or 11:15, up to you to decide the time, you breathe.

What do you do when you breathe? Oh you really breathe. First of all, it allow you a bit of flexibility. If the three meeting ran and finish 11, finish 11:05 you can, it allows you to de-breathe, it allows you to manage little interruptions, it allows you to return phone calls, it just allows you to calm down. I don’t see any sport person that would train hard from 8 o’clock in the morning to 8 o’clock at night. You train hard, you just relax, you train hard, you relax. Why do we do it differently in the business world? Breathing.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. I’d like to know your tip, your advice to make your daily bit less crazy. Don’t hesitate below to leave one tip that works for you and we’ll share with everyone. You have a lovely day, I’ll speak to you soon.

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