Maybe this story is familiar to you: wake up at 6:30, gym/pool, arrive at the office at 8: 30 (half an hour before the others), answering emails, calls, working on day-to-day projects, explaining to your team/collaborators the next steps, negotiating with a customer, coffee, calls, meeting, eating fast – at your desk many days – more emails, another meeting, more projects, a meeting that extends to infinity, staying late and/or taking your work home (here you can move forward because you are silent and if you have children, they have gone to sleep)…
If you recognize yourself in this “work routine” you may be one of those senior leaders who works more than 45 hours a week, who receives – according to some American studies – 6% more salary and who is socially recognized. But perhaps you are also part of the 97% who say that strategic thinking is the most important thing for the success of their company and of the 96% who do not have time for it… Do you recognise yourself here too?
Working more than 35 hours a week decreases productivity and creative thinking. That is why it is important to follow three simple guidelines that help “find the time” but also the space for strategy:
- Create your space. This is not a physical space but a “mental” one. You don’t need hours and hours to plan a strategy or make a decision. What is needed is to have a “blank” time, dedicated to it, after a disconnection within working hours. Think about how many companies include specific rest areas to encourage creative thinking among their employees.
- To do list. There are those who are for and those who are against to-do lists. What is true is that they help to structure, to know what you have to do and not only can, but must, include strategic thinking here. Consciously make space for it in your daily tasks.
- Where do you spend your time? It’s good, for a couple of weeks, to follow up on how you spend your time, to assess which jobs you can outsource, delegate or work on in parallel. Knowing this will help you to organize yourself better. Update on the tools that allow you to automate processes.
Remember: disconnecting does not mean wasting time. Instead, it is usually the key to success.