I decided to have a day without meetings yesterday. I wanted to have the time to think, read, reflect, and see what would come up rather than rush from meeting to meeting. I had a feeling that it would help me look at problems more creatively, see them as opportunities, and come up with potential solutions to experiment with.
Although I was interrupted by a few phone calls during the day, I was able to spend the bulk of it performing the creative thinking that I wanted to do. By the end of the day, I had sent 5 of our startups ideas on how to improve their business.
2 of the ideas were put to the shelf after debating them with our entrepreneurs. Armed with their more in-depth perspective on the market, we decided that the ideas weren’t worth pursuing.
The other 3 ideas were appreciated by our entrepreneurs and either they or I, as appropriate, have taken action to get the ball rolling on the ideas.
I’m happy with 3 potentially value enhancing new projects emerging from a day’s work. It’s more than I feel gets done in most days which are filled with back to back meetings.
Given the successful results of my experimental no meeting day, I’ve decided to make it a regular habit. I recognize that there may be some weeks when urgent meetings force me to skip it, but I’m going to try to have a no meeting day once each week.
I also recognize that being able to set up a no meeting day is a luxury that not every role provides. But if you’re in a role with disproportionate returns to creativity and insight, I strongly recommend you try to make it happen. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.