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The only one I can’t trick is my wife

Let me ask you a simple question: when you have a meeting with someone very important, do you arrive late, answer your emails whilst during or check your phone?

Why do we often do this when we allocate to ourselves?

Bonjour. In this video, I want to share one simple discipline which can really increase your productivity.

I have the pleasure of working with many leaders and their teams, high performers who are completely swamped with meetings. I look at their calendars and they have back-to-back meetings all day.

This has become even more apparent during the pandemic due to the fact so many people are now doing online meetings. They are very easy to organize and before you know it, you are spending your entire day in meetings. To make matters worse, it’s not rare to see people schedule two or three meetings at the same time!

What’s the issue? Not enough time to work on important projects, not enough time to think. How often have I heard people complaining about this?

My suggestion here is very simple: book specific meetings with yourself AND respect them.

It’s great to have lots of meetings with other people in your calendar. However, your calendar should also be full of specific meetings with yourself. I am not only talking about blocking ‘me time’ or ‘thinking time’. I want you to be very specific on what you want to work on during that time.

Let me guess, if you have a meeting with a specific client on Monday at 10am, you will not put ‘client meeting’ in your calendar. You would put the name of the client, the address of the meeting and ideally the purpose of it.

You should do the same for meetings with yourself. Be very specific and respect this.

It is extremely beneficial to have specific meetings with yourself in your calendar but what’s the point if you don’t respect them?

Let me ask you this, if you have a meeting with a very important person, would you arrive late, check your emails during, answer your phone and be interrupted constantly by other people? Of course not. You need to apply the same discipline with meetings with yourself.

My calendar is full of meetings with myself. If someone calls me to ask to organize a meeting in one of these times, I often say I can’t as I already have a meeting. They do not need to know that it’s a meeting with myself. The importance of a meeting is not whether it’s with another person or yourself. It’s about the topic of the meeting. Many meetings with yourself could be much more important than meetings with other people.

The only person I can’t trick anymore is my wife. When she wants to organize something with me and I say I can’t because I have a meeting, she will now ask ‘Cyril, is it a meeting with yourself?’.


This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. Have a beautiful day.

A bientôt,

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