Not sure about you, but as I wait for that person to connect on zoom, I use those 30 seconds to send a msg or browse my twitter feed or finish that email. Basically I cram into my (rather long) working day as many tasks as possible.
It is likely that you are observing quite a few more opportunities to also make your team more effective, to fill those slack times with one or two more tasks, to increase the productivity of everyone to make you able to make as much as possible happen.
Don’t do that !
And there are two reasons why you should instead give value more that magic slack time, one is important, the second one is fundamental The more your work, the less productive you are
1. The graph below is just one of many visible expressions of what we all know: that pushing you and your team too much actually creates a lower rate of productivity.
2. Even more important to create truly innovative teams is to give them space to do nothing.
When you have time to think, to allow information and inputs to connect, that is when the truly good ideas arise. Some of the best innovators, when they are stuck, stop. They close all their tech, go for a walk, sleep it over.
But it’s urgent! Even more reason to stop because urgent deadlines never stop, in fact the more productive you aim to be the higher the number of urgent deadlines will appear in your agenda.
Don’t be busy, don’t “be urgent” instead enjoy and let your team enjoy that slack time where the best innovation happens.
In our daily rush to innovate, prototype, deliver MVPs … we feel constantly stressed out running to meet deadlines. We should actually not focus on meeting those deadlines, instead invest time in the people of our team, develop their capacity and innovation to make and meet their own deadlines.
It might sound counterintuitive but forget all three of those urgent deadlines you have today. Instead think well and deep about how you can have a series of sessions with your team, to develop their capacity, increase their autonomy, create a stronger trust amongst them. Because THAT is what will allow you to “sit back and relax” knowing that your team has it under control, can do it, can both meet those deadlines and also decide what actually is a deadline, an important deadline to be met, and what is one of the many fictitious targets we are asked to meet “yesterday” … which actually there is no rush to get to.
It all starts from rethinking people in your team, people you work with. From someone who has to get stuff done, well and quickly. To individual human beings, “mines of gems of inestimable value” , individuals with an infinite and mostly untapped capacity to make amazing things happen … if you let them and encourage them and accompany them.
So enjoy a stress free day (or week?), forget deadlines and enjoy rethinking the role of your people and their infinite capacity to deliver.