Work from home: The importance of having a meeting-free week

Having a busy week one after the other is going to take a toll on your mental health sooner than later. Have you ever felt like you’ve been having so many meetings lately and that you don’t get the time to actually finish your work? Some might have six back to back meetings through the day while others may have a fewer number of meetings but longer ones. In both cases, you are left with feeling drained and realize at the end of the day that all your work is pending, which means you start putting in extra hours at work.

It’s not like you dislike people but at times excessive dependence on meeting may not be a very efficient form of communication. If everything runs smoothly, no one should actually have to communicate on such extreme levels. So if you’ve been loaded with meetings that are consuming your time, energy and effort, you need to take a de-load week from meetings.

Having blank space in your calendar for a whole week means you can get on deep with your work and deadlines. You won’t have to plan each day around your meetings. This also means you can plan out your outputs. It also gives you some space to think and plan and actually do what you’re hired to do. Do less but do it better. Have an uninterrupted focus on your 9-5 job. Switch off your phone post working hours and indulge in what makes you happy. Set yourself up a better future by spending your time well.

You can spend this meeting-free week by coming up with new ideas and implementations. Improve processes, learn new things, be more productive while letting others get on with their work too. Look at the bigger picture at where you are best utilized. This week is where you don’t make a to-do list but instead make a ‘done’ list. Write done everything that you did once you finish those tasks and it will amaze you as to how much work you could get done without any of those meetings.

Learn to say no to meetings: Holding a meeting-free week will give you an easy way to say no. You can make a common mail to everyone on your team before you start with the meeting-free week. Something like, “Apologies, I won’t be having any meetings this week. If there’s any way I could help move your work plans along without one, please let me know.” Be very firm on what you say and stand your ground. Decline any invitation that pops up carelessly in your calendar for this week. Empower people around you to progress without actually having your input and silently watch them think for themselves and do better. You don’t really have to be a part of every decision.

Having said that, if due to some business urgency you have to be a part of any meeting, make sure that you do not invest more than 10 minutes into it- talk to the point and leave!

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