When I was in my last corporate job at Yahoo (almost 7 years ago now), I had to block off time on my calendar to get my “real work” done (and to get coffee). I was lucky enough to have an amazing EA who really looked after me and my sanity (thank you, Karen!). Otherwise, every single minute of my days would be scheduled with an endless series of meetings. It was a defensive play.
Now that I run my own business and manage my calendar, it looks much like you illustrate. The majority of my time is for me to think, write, plan, and execute on the 1–3 things I set aside as most important for that day. I also keep time open each week for serendipitous meetings and events. Some of my best business partnerships have happened because of that open time.
It’s unfortunate that the majority of corporate execs have that over scheduled calendar, being pulled into each and every meeting and decision that others deem so critical. It’s all very “now” and reactive.
“Oh no! Some bad thing happened and it’s really not important in the big scheme, but let’s all meet immediately to discuss an action plan for something that will resolve itself and be meaningless if we leave it alone”
The only time they have to “think” is late at night and weekends. I know. As always, I’m impressed with how you have approached this issue.