Getting a Grip When Work is Nuts Pt. 1

We have to do something about crazy schedules! But please don’t give us something else to do.

Anyone who tries to work at 100% capacity for 100% of the time will go nuts!

What do you do when work is crazy and you don’t have time to make it better?

#1. Stop something.

The last thing you need is more to do when your schedule is nuts. What might you stop doing?

Stopping is harder than starting.

#2. One update email:

Send your boss a Friday afternoon report. Briefly describe the week’s projects and your plans for next week. Just a sentence or two for top items.

  1. Keep it relevant and very brief.
  2. Begin with, “I thought it might be helpful for you and me to review the week and describe the priorities for next week.”
  3. Close with, “Please drop a note if you have feedback. I plan to focus on what matters most. Have a great weekend.”
  4. P.S. – No response needed unless you have feedback or suggestions.
  5. Make it an information email, no complaining, explaining, or politicking.

(Yes, there is more to do. But this is helpful for you and your boss.)

#3. Establish new rules for meetings.

Focus on things within your control when work is crazy.

At your next team meeting say, “I’d like us to:

  1. “… shorten all our meetings to 45 minutes or less. Any thoughts or suggestions?”
  2. “… cancel any meeting if we don’t have an agenda the day before the meeting’s date…?
  3. “… stop inviting everyone to meetings. …” When someone regularly leaves meetings without a new assignment, they didn’t need to attend the meeting. Give them the minutes or a brief report.
  4. “… use the two medium pizza rule. Any group that can’t be fed with two medium pizzas is too large for a meeting. The number is five to seven. Fewer is better.

What suggestions do you have for getting a grip when work is nuts?

Which of the above suggestions seems most practical for you?