Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 7 Stupid Distractions Every Leader Should Eliminate

7 Stupid Distractions Every Leader Should Eliminate

5. Too Many Meetings

We live in meetings, and our productivity dies in them. Meetings are a huge distraction in a world where leaders often simply need to get work done.

Patrick LencioniAl Pittampali and others have effectively critiqued the way most leaders live in meetings.

If I’m not careful, I can spend three-quarters of my week in meetings and have only a few hours left over for writing messages and leading what matters most.

Meetings expand to fill the time you’ve set aside for them. So just set aside less time.

6. An Open Schedule

Chance are you only write appointments with others and meetings in your schedule, right?

Big mistake.

Make appointments with yourself. Write in writing time, thinking time, date nights with your spouse, family time—everything you need to get done.

Why?

Then when someone asks to meet, you can say you have a commitment. If it’s truly important, schedule them in during your next available slot.

I show you exactly how to do that in the High Impact Leader course, and right now we’re including free iCal and GoogleCal High Impact Leader templates with the course so that you can get your life and leadership on track.

An open schedule is a guarantee you’ll spend your time on everyone else’s priorities, not yours.

Conversely, a fixed calendar can fix your life.

7. Conversations Without a Purpose

Conversations can waste tons of time. And they happen all the time to leaders.

Sometimes you feel trapped in one.

What do you do when someone corners you?

Be pleasant and move on. You’ve got work to do.

Turn that 20-minute conversation into a two-minute conversation. Be pleasant, thank them and, if need be, tell them you were on your way to get something done. Then go do it.

If you work in an actual office, close the door or put a sign on the door that you’re doing focused work.

If you’re in an open office, you can even devise a signal with co-workers that lets them know you’re not free to chat. I’ve seen leaders put a small orange traffic cone or another kind of marker on their desk that effectively says “do not disturb.”

If you can shut down meaningless conversations, you’ll ramp up your productivity.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.