Full attention is exhausting

I had two meetings yesterday, one lunch meeting, one meeting someone new. Both times, I felt like putting out so much more energy when listening, talking, as the main purpose of the meeting is to establish connection. I took a junior staff with me and she brought pen and notebook, ready to take notes. She asked me what’s the purpose of the meeting? I said, to build relationship. She was surprised as she thought they were business meetings.

This might be novel to her and to others who are used to work “seriously”. My style has evolved over the years, and my current thinking is first to build personal relationship, not necessarily deep, but deep enough to be comfortable to talk about their family. Once that’s done, we can talk about serious business. The main idea is to have fun while working together. Otherwise work could be dry. Also, I said: I’m not sure whether what we do matters at the end or will have any real impact, so let’s make sure we have fun doing it. 🙂 It came out a revelation to my team.

Yet, making those first steps could be tiring, exhausting to be exact. Just 4 hours of meeting one day split between two groups left me exhausted. I slept 10 hours last night.

Oh… I booked my trip to Manila for my follow up eye check up and annual check up. Another solo trip! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Full attention is exhausting

  1. We have had a lot more meetings in my job this past year or so. There have been some shifts in workflows etc and just comes with the territory. Many employees in the greater department seem to have upwards of 5-6 meetings per day! I usually don’t have more than maybe 2-3 at the most, but it can vary. Some days I have none. And some are more participatory, and others are more like an inservice or learning opportunity. I guess you’re lucky you don’t usually have that many meetings! I also find them draining, and I don’t like how they chop up my day. I really don’t have too many compared to others, so I feel fortunate too, though like I said, my meeting load has increased a lot lately. My meetings are all on Webex/ zoom too, which is ok overall but can be a little awkward and draining in its own way.


  2. Wow 2 hrs to talk to someone from work but not about work? I don’t think I would last that long. I think maybe that’s a bit Asian too to first built a relationship before working with someone. I’ve never had that since working here in Europe! I envy your 2 meetings, I’m in a busy period at work when I have between 5-9 meetings every day!


  3. Meetings definitely take a lot of energy out of me, especially when I am presenting. I am starting to do more and more client meetings. They are typically only 30 minutes long which is good because I can have alot in a day. On Monday I have 5, plus some other meetings! I have so little white space on my calendar… but that is going to be the norm going forward, I think, with my colleague retiring. We used to split the meetings… Something else will need to shift or I am going to get very burned out!


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