Harvard Business Review USA – March-April 2023
English | 156 pages | pdf | 54.58 MB

Your Calendar Needs More White Space

LIKE MOST OF YOU, I have a cluttered work calendar. The people I meet with are as busy as I am, so even when I’m convening a small group, it sometimes takes weeks to find a time that works. Filling my days with meetings feels necessary and essential: Leadership involves listening to and influencing others, and it’s hard to do that if you’re working in isolation.
Even so, my colleagues and I recognize the costs of having so few unbooked hours. To better accommodate “deep work,” we’ve tried instituting no-meeting Fridays and other potential solutions, but those initiatives never seem to stick.
In Harvard Business Review USA Magazine March-April 2023 cover story, “Beware a Culture of Busyness,” Kellogg professor Adam Waytz tackles this pervasive problem, starting with an exploration of why a jam-packed calendar has
become a status symbol. “Busyness is not a virtue, and it is long past time that organizations stopped lionizing it,” he writes. Evaluating employees on how busy they are is a terrible way to
identify the most creative and productive talent. Yet many firms reward and promote only people who display how ‘hard’ they’re working.”
How can we fix this? Waytz offers a range of prescriptions, such as evaluating employees on output, conducting audits aimed at eliminating low-value tasks, discouraging after-hours email, and asking leaders to model better behaviors. As so many people rethink workplaces altered by the pandemic, he argues, there is an opportunity to rethink norms about our schedules, too.
Until then, I gotta run to a meeting.

Editor in chief

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