I have a "to read" file. When I get a journal in the mail, I review the contents page. If I like the title, I put a sticky note on the page number, and drop it in my file.
Each month I book 1 1/2 hour at a coffee shop. I take my backpackbriefcasethingy and inside it I have a green action file, a yellow reference file and a red recycle/shred file.
No phone, no computer, no interruptions. The 90 mins is at the very end of the day, but at the coffee shop it is so relaxing! I rip out the article with the contact name of the author I want to call, and put it in my green action file. When I get back to the office, I empty the action folder into the appropriate context folders (phone calls, someone to delegate this action), file the reference material and shred/recycle.
I LOVE Almost Done's suggestion - what seems really wonderful about this is that the coffee shop provides a change of scene, eliminates most interruptions inherent in being at the office and can feel like a restful break and a pleasant reward. I'd pobably take post-it notes with me to be able to jot notes about any necessary actions from the reading. The challenge with scheduling reading items that might be relevant at the office is often that it doesn't feel as important, so those things just don't get read in any timely way. I think the idea that "stuff which might be useful" is often deferred makes perfect sense. I read a lot, but there's always a lot in the queue - a significant chunk of which constantly gets deferred. The coffee shop idea could even be translated to being a space for scanning larger items like books to see what the likelihood is that valuable information is lurking in the pages.
We'll never read everything that catches our attention or discover everything that could be useful. We always must carve out some time for creative, new inputs though to help us challenge our current thinking and to innovate.
My black backpack/briefcase/satchel thing is once again empty!
I knew I had to be in the surgery waiting room for several hours, so I brought my TO READ file along. My action folder has a few items, my reference folder has a few, my TRASH is pretty full, and my TO READ file is empty.
My peace of mind mainly comes from my husband's successful surgery, but here was a few hours NOT to read sports or glamor magazines.
When do you have an hour or two which you KNOW your are basically stuck? This was not my creative time. This was my time to be preoccupied with something else. Very enjoyable!
I don't know the answer to your question. I heard David say in an archived webinar something to the effect of; "If you have back to back meetings all day when do you have time to actually do the work?"
As I read through your post I wonder the same thing. I realize meetings are work...that came to me a few years ago as I do a lot of meetings. But often during meetings I am getting more things added to my list. If I never have time to do the work, my list will only grow.
It's a matter of (a) prioritizing and (b) scheduling. If you believe going to
all those meetings is very important, then when people suggest at meetings
that you take on a task, you can say something like "No, I'm sorry, I won't
have time for that. I'm busy with meetings all day all the time."
If you believe that it's also good for all the other people at the meeting
to spend all their days at meetings, then you'll be setting a good example.
(And contrariwise if not).
If you believe that some actions are more important than some meetings,
then when people schedule meetings you can say something like
"No, I'm sorry, I'm going to miss the meeting this time in order to
get some stuff done ... I expect to be at the next meeting though."
If you believe it's good for the other participants at the meeting to
sometimes skip meetings in order to get stuff done, you'll be setting
a good example (and contrariwise if not).
You can do arbitrary scheduling, such as "On Tuesdays and Thursdays I
don't go to any meetings unless they're really, really important, and
generally a maximum of 2 hours of meetings a day even then. My Tuesdays
and Thursdays are primarily for non-meeting work. On Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays I go to lots of meetings." Or "I don't go
to any meetings between 12:00 and 14:00." Watch out for the "parkway"
phenomenon: cities saved up "greenspace" for parkland and nature,
and then ended up noticing that it was a convenient place to put
huge highways. How do you protect your action time from having
big important meetings pushed into it because people know you're
(in some sense) not busy then?
Each week you can list your meetings in order of priority and skip
the bottom few. If two meetings are scheduled at the same time
you probably know which one you'd go to; you can use the same
thinking process to list all your meetings in priority order, to limit the
number of hours per week of meetings.
I used to read my professional reading and classical literature to my newborn - at that age they just want to hear your voice. Once they're a little older, they tend to prefer fuzzy bunnies and board books for some reason...
I'm a very busy executive. I scheduled my day so that my early morning starts with any computer work. Then I have meetings with my staff. Very short lunch. After lunch I scheduled time for customer meetings or unexpected staff meetings. I process at the end of the day (1 hour is scheduled though not always enough ). So the day is scheduled.
When could a busy executive do his reading: business books and magazines to develop the business, techniques and approaches? Does it worth it at all?
PS I do my personal reading during my commute as I have a personal driver.
you sound exhausted, as if your environment has a tight grip on your movement.and .you have very little options to find the time to enjoy a soft piano piece of music.
david's methodology is a god send for people like us.
chuk every engagement for a week and read his book on a beach.
just do it......dont think......just do it........