As a product leader, we genuinely want to help people and get things done. As a result, we find typically find ourselves swamped in meetings all day, or constantly getting distracted. Now with everything remote, I have found I am less productive than when I am in the office with the sheer volume of virtual shoulder taps.
Thinking through possible solutions to get more of the day back, I recall a question a good mentor challenged me with: “Who controls your calendar?”
It’s a fantastic question, I typically let anyone book time on my calendar and go from meeting to meeting, preparing last minute I might need to know. This is not the best way to live. I tend to never be able to accomplish what I set out to do on any particular day and before I know it the day is already over!
I have now instilled a “no last-minute meeting” policy on my calendar. Before I close out the day, block out any remaining gaps between meetings for the following day. In doing so, this also allows me to mentally prepare for the following day before I clock off, and prevent any surprises.
It’s only been a few days but the results and impact on my own productivity have been amazing. I strongly recommend doing something like this if you constantly find yourself being pulled into a thousand different directions every day of the week.