Yesterday’s podcast was on decluttering your leadership closet. In case you missed it here is the link.
Leadership is hard enough when things are orderly. When they are cluttered it becomes impossible to be effective.
If you want to create the capacity to do more, consider making the following three ideas a habit:
Schedule a weekly meeting with yourself. Great leaders think, prepare, evaluate, and dream. Those things rarely happen without alone time. The most important (and hardest) person you will lead is you. Therefore, your most important meeting is the one you have with yourself. Before you read any further schedule your first self-meeting.
Clean off your desk. A clear workspace leads to greater productivity. Why would you allow a pile of papers that you touch over and over to rob you of influence. Can I tell you the truth? Your mess is affecting others. Most great leaders end every day with a clean slate. If cleaning off your desk is not a daily habit, today is the day to start.
Empty your inbox. Email is a hurricane of clutter. Create intentionality around your email and you will be more productive. This one is challenging for me. I’m bombarded, as I’m guessing you are. Many leaders are addicted to their inbox and as a result their capacity is smashed. If you want to create margin, schedule time each day to check your email and only touch each message once. Make a list of things you need to handle, delegate what you can, and ask to be taken out of the loop unless you really need to be in the loop. I think many potential leaders never emerge because their supervisor has their hand in every decision. There are things you don’t need to know. I’m guessing 50% of all email is a waste of someone’s time.
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If you really want to declutter, a weekly self meeting, a clean desk, and an empty inbox are the places to begin.