“Plan your Work and Work Your Plan”. Napoleon Hill
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Mike Tyson
Louis, a Director at a financial services company, is having a hard time adjusting to work from home. Work was demanding back at the office. Now, it’s exhausting.
Louis said, “By 1 pm, I can’t remember what meeting I’m in, who I’m meeting with, and what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Louis doesn’t want it to be this way. A high performing team player, he’s trying his best. But he’s floundering.
Louis is proactive. He plans out his days.
There’s nothing wrong with planning. Plans help turn vision into action.
But the plan is not the territory. Plans that don’t factor in humanity are bound to come back and bite you.
On Louis’ typical day, his first meeting is with his team in Asia at 7 am. The next meeting started at 8 am. Then 9 am. Then 10. 11. Noon.
Every one of these meetings is important. Every one of these meetings is helping move the business forward.
There’s just one major problem. Louis isn’t just a Director. He’s also human.
On paper, all of his meetings make sense.
However, when you put one hour meeting on top of the next and the next, there are diminishing returns.
Louis’ mental energy fades into distraction. His physical energy fades into exhaustion. His emotional energy fades into frustration. Louis forgot that he’s not a machine that can run for hours on end.
I suggested to Louis that he schedule his meetings for 50 minutes instead of 60. The look on his face was a combination of wonder and relief. He said, “I can do that!”…though I wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement.
If Louis can add in buffers, so can you.
Go ahead, make plans. But don’t forget to create buffers in your schedule.
Because buffers will help when you get punched in the face.