Meetings Create Burnout

Back to Blog

Meetings were tiring before COVID and now they create exhaustion.  I recently looked at a client’s calendar and noticed two things – No white space between meetings and double bookings throughout his day.   A perceived lack of control of the issue is part of the stress.

The work from home reality means that schedules are being overbooked and leaders find themselves feeling out of control  However, there is definitely an opportunity for teams and leaders to take back control of their day.

Burnout is defined by emotional exhaustion, low professional efficacy and cynicism.

A few suggestions for you regarding your schedule in a Zoom environment –

1. No agenda and no deliverables means there should be no meeting.  Unless of course you are having wine delivered and / or you are having a virtual coffee just to catch-up and socialize.  An agenda is used to describe the method to reach the meeting deliverables.  A meeting deliverable is like an objective.  It is usually a thing – a plan, a decision, a process or strategy.  It describes what done looks like today.  The worst deliverable for a meeting is – another meeting.

2.  How does your calendar reflect the primary responsibilities of your role? In other words, there is no extra stuff on your schedule that does not support the accomplishment or achievement or the fulfillment of your role.

3. Consider the white space or lack thereof on your calendar.  Consider implementing 45 minute meetings vs. an hour or 15 vs. 30 minute meetings. Imagine what it would be like to capture a few minutes each day to reflect, prepare or complete some important tasks.  The white space is there to give you a chance to recover.

4. There is a belief that if your day is full of meetings then you are being productive.  I wonder if this is really true for you or if it is a sign of being busy.  Busy is running around without purpose and productive is accomplishing the important work.  If you are a leader, your time is a hugely valuable asset and it is to be used for strategy, people, problem solving and innovation.

How can you take a strategic and intentional approach with your calendar over the next 30 days?

Feel free to see our video on renewal as it might be helpful to review some keys to recharge during this time.