We spend so much of our days talking about the work that we’re going or need to do. We attend endless waves of meetings where we seem to talk about the same things over and over. It feels as if we talk about the same things over and over, because that’s exactly what we do. We’ve over-scheduled ourselves to the point of not being able to get any work done.
Stand-ups, status reports, slack messages, it all ends up eating into time where we could get the real work done. So what do we all do? We pad our timelines to add extra time for all these meetings and updates. That project you said would take six months, I bet you could get it done in three if you were able to just work on the project without having to constantly report status. That sales pipeline review? I bet if you spent the 6 hours lining up calls with customers instead of prepping to present to executives you’d be able to close a few deals sooner.
It’s all very unhealthy and it feels as if there is no way to get off the train. The larger the organization is that you work for, the harder it will be to get away from it.
But there comes a point where you need to say enough is enough - “I need time to do the actual work”. Depending on the culture of your organization this may be easier said than done, but you need to figure out how to make that happen.
I’m in the middle of a pretty large project, but it seems more than half of my week is slammed with status meetings. I woke up this morning stressed, angry, and not looking forward to the day ahead. The project is behind, we’re blocked by a 3rd party, and executives are wanting answers - to which I have none. So I am going to do the only thing I know how to do, just do the work. I’m going to sit down a trudge through this project one step at a time until a solution presents itself or I’ve ruled out all other possibilities. I cancelled or moved meetings and made room to do the work.