5 for 5 blog – Crazy busy weeks

3 Oct


That’s what my week is going to be. There no one single event that is too big or challenging. Just many things stacked up. Many of us have weeks like this. Wall to wall meetings, updates, presentations….

In the past I would have charged headlong into a week like this, but after a lot of these long weeks, here are some things I am doing differently to make a difference, not just make it through:

Do the homework

Simply stated have a plan and know your objective for each meeting. For me , I am writing a one line theme for each meeting to help me focus on what is most important and to ensure that I either learn that item or get resolution in each meeting. Laura Vanderkam is one of my favorite authors and she encourages rears to plan out their entire next week as one of the last things they do on a Friday.

Get prepared

There are now plenty of studies on how little decisions sap our cognitive capacity, often before we ever leave home. If you have a crazy week, layout your clothes, plan your time to leave the house, will you have time to make coffee at home or pick it up on the go. The point is get all of those things straight on Sunday night or earlier, and save your mental strength for each meeting. Also, delegate work if you have that option.

Take care of yourself

As I mentioned above I used to dive straight into week long meeting-fests on little rest and eating terribly. Get enough sleep. Eat as best as you can – most day long meetings are not known for having the healthiest meals – except when I worked with Jody Jenkins). Bring healthy snacks. Drink lots of water. If you can’t get out of the room, at least stand up to get the blood flowing. Studies recommend getting up at least once or twice per hour.

Use the small breaks

Get up and move around.  Get outside (one of the things I hated about day long meetings is feeling “locked inside”). I will scan email but not go for inbix zero – the goal is to “keep the puck moving” – forward a note with a request to a team member, send a quick reply with a thoughtful question, send a thank you note.

Be thankful for small blessings

As tough as I have during the day this week, with it being a holiday week in most of Asia I am fortunate to not have any night time calls, which factor into several of the steps above. Normally with four direct reports in Asia I would have 6-8 hours of calls during each evening. With the lucky coincidence of the holiday, I am sneak in a few quick work outs, still eat dinner with my family, and hopefully keep up with the blog.

In your crazy weeks, what do you do to not just get through, but be ready to make a difference?

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

Great Things Don’t Come From Comfort Zones. – by the Do Network

5 Steps To Harness Your Brain’s Unconscious Decision-Making Powers – by Neil Pavitt

Fully baked – by Seth Godin

A Science-Backed Guide to Taking Truly Restful Breaks   – by Christian Jarrett

How to Cultivate Accidental Genius – by Eric Weiner

all the best, kevin