Through December and January, I’ve been meeting up with a ton of amazing people from the NYC startup scene lately. Over coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks, we talk about our respective projects, our beliefs, about how NYC feels just-so-different these days, and most importantly, we work out who we can connect from our respective networks to help each other out. I’ve even started to experiment with holding Office Hours through OHours.org (an awesome idea/service created by Nate Westheimer).
This has been an excellent way to not only make new friends in the industry, but also to get new customers and feedback for Tout (a product that Entrepreneurs actually find very useful).
However, at the same time, its been wreaking havoc on my schedule.
Meetups can kill your productivity
All these little lunches, dinners and coffee meetups has been breaking my primary principle of not having anchors in my schedule, and pretty much been wreaking havoc on my creative process.
I learned last year that if I’m going to have a productive work day packed with creative output, I need to have little to no anchors in my schedule. This means no conference calls, appointments, or meetings. I found that all it takes is a simple 2pm conference call, and I end up counting down to 2pm for the entire morning and thinking about what I can quickly get done before than rather than embarking on solving a tough and meaty problem regardless of how long it will take.
I believe that if you’re going to be truly productive, and produce something actually creative, you need to eliminate any reason for you to be “counting down” – in fact, you need to be in an environment where you’re just not thinking about time. You start when you start, and you stop working when the job is done. Period.
Moving all meetings to Tuesdays
And so, I’ve instituted a new policy called “Tuesdays work best.” Anytime I’m coordinating a meetup with someone, I always start with Tuesdays work best. For the month of January, I’ve been cramming all of my meetings, Skype calls, coffee/dinner/lunch meetups into action filled Tuesdays.
If this Tuesday is booked, that’s too bad, the next time we can get together is next Tuesday.
For all practical purposes, Tuesday is just the arbitrary day I picked. It just happens to work best for me because I can use Monday to catch up on everything that happened over the weekend, and then I can use Wed-Friday to get sheer amounts of work done feeding off the energy and inspiration I got from meeting all these interesting people on Tuesday.
So far, this experiment has given amazing results. Not only is it easier to schedule, there are way less things for me to have to worry about re:travel, context switching, getting into the mood for meeting people, etc.
Do you have a trick of scheduling? Do you have anchors on your schedule? Reflect on that and get back to me.