How to stay mentally healthy with a schedule full of meetings?

Hi elphas!

I am moving into a new role (which is awesome, lots of interesting work w. great people and great exposure) that involves a LOT of meetings. I am up for promotion and so I am starting to take on a lot more work and also getting involved in a lot more. I recognize that this could pose challenging, and I'm wondering..... what do you all do to stay sane when your calendar is full of meetings??

I would love to adopt some good "coping mechanisms" so that I don't burn out.


Hi! I dealt with this years ago when I moved to a remote company. (It's a thing that it truly causes burnout - so much research on this lately!) My best tips: 1) Proactively block your calendar! Put up time blocks to do focused work, take a break, etc.2) Have 20-minute or 45-minute meetings (save 10 - 15 minutes on either side of meetings). If this is not the norm at your company, make the suggestion to do so! 3) Take walking meetings. For many of my one-on-ones or small team meetings, I take them on walks. You get less distracted anyway because you can't multi-task!4) Be honest with your colleagues that you can't do back-to-backs - that you need time to re-calibrate, prep, and "digest" from meetings. Role model breaks in meetings - I wouldn't be surprised if you aren't the only one feeling this, and others just may need to see someone else take charge of owning better practices!
Scrutinize whether certain meetings need to happen in the first place. Besides that I like the tips Laura shared too!
Oh, have I been there! When I took on an engineering leadership role my calendar became a thing of nightmares, heh. It was 6-7 hours of straight back-to-back meetings.* Could you schedule an office hours? Think of it as scheduling 1 open hour, announcing it to the company (or whomever you work with) and saying "anyone who has questions, come at this time" I incorporated this into my schedule and it cut down on the number of meetings I had. * Block off breaks on your calendar. I used to automatically build in breaks for eating and walking. * Set Slack away message to "focus time" or "head's down" so people know you are working.* Set a limit for the amount of meetings you can productively/sanely handle each day. Stick to that.* Make sure recurring meetings are necessary.* Ask for an outcome before each meeting to make sure everyone's aligned and focused.* Take time away from the screen between meetings. Stretch, dance breaks (I dance to Fitness Marshall on Youtube. Highly recommend! He's ridiculous and makes me laugh so much).Fingers crossed for the promotion! You've got this.Sarah
Hi @Gail111. Burnout is unfortunately all too common but that doesn't mean we can't turn it around. Here's what I'd recommend:-Take control of your daily routine; while a job may be exhausting, what is in YOUR power to control? Is it exercise, hydration, nutrition, sleep, breaks in your day, taking walks/getting fresh air, meditation, journaling -- any/all forms of self care that you think would help. Try to incorporate one small/new thing at a time, try it out, see what helps/works, and keep tweaking your routine until it starts to feel better for you.-Set boundaries with work -- if the culture allows for it, try to talk to your manager to be able to state when you'll start and end your workday so you don't feel pressured to answer emails/messages after ours. Taking breaks and having balance where you can truly shut off work is important. This becomes much harder with work form home, so figure out what you can do to help -- remove work email from your phone / turn off slack notifications, shut down your work laptop, manage expectations, etc.-Consider how to have your manager's support in prioritizing your work & transparency/updates in where you're at with things. You're never meant to have to be alone in what you get done vs don't -- you are only human and they know that, so sometimes it is simply a matter of creating more transparency around what you're prioritizing & what you both feel is realistic to achieve, to ensure they get on board, and that way you don't feel bad if everything doesn't get done. -Ask yourself if the role, industry/organization, or environment/culture, are potentially misaligned with what might be a suitable fit for you. If that is the case, you may be making it harder on yourself to thrive at work. I'd encourage you look into the process of career exploration to crystalize the best possible fit for role, industry and environment so you can pursue a career that is more naturally aligned with what you're like so that you can be engaged at work.PS, I’m Rachel, a Career Coach. I’d be happy to discuss this further if you want to hop on a call -- check my profile for how to book time with me. I’m here to help! Talk soon!
Are you getting value from these meetings? Could some of this information be delivered asynchronously? Could someone else from your team run/participate in/report back on the meeting instead of you?Use something like Calday to manage your meetings. With an appointment scheduling tool, you can optimize your time and increase productivity. You can focus on other important tasks, such as providing quality service to customers or working on business development.