Posted: Wed 26th Jan 2022
When I was a salaried employee, I felt a lot of time was wasted on meetings to discuss plans that eventually yielded nothing.
My conclusion is that meetings are the primary time guzzlers, particularly in the business world.
I’ve become extremely interested in the relationship between meetings and time management. Here are my top tips on the subject.
Tip one: Have clear goals and a structure
It’s important for every meeting to have a clear goal and a structured process for monitoring the topics discussed. If it’s a recurring meeting, use the action points from the last meeting to open the subsequent session.
Here’s an example agenda for a staff meeting:
Update of the action points from the previous meeting
Review of all staff members’ goals
Brainstorming session for how to achieve these goals
Discussion about challenges at work and possible solutions
Main objectives and action points for a follow-up meeting
In a meeting like this, it’s vital that someone records all the points and sends a summary to everyone who attended.
Tip two: Do you need to attend that meeting?
If you’re a manager, you probably devote 50% of your work time to meetings. Therefore, it’s crucial that you consider how much your attendance at the meeting contributes to and serves your needs and your company’s goals. If the answer is not much, it’s best not to attend.
Tip three: Planning is key
As you plan the week ahead, regard your appointments as a fixed variable. Consider the total amount of time you’d like to devote to your work. Then begin by subtracting the time needed for meetings that already exist in the diary, and throughout the week adding the time you need for yourself.
For example, you plan to devote 3,000 minutes (50 hours) to your work this week. Out of this number, you calculate that you’ll need 1,000 minutes (16 hours) for existing meetings and another 500 (eight hours) minutes for meetings that may be added on. Consequently, you now have 1,500 minutes (25 hours) for planning other tasks.
Tip four: Protect your energy
I once met with a senior manager who recounted an interesting story which has been etched in my memory ever since. He told me about a very important CEO who would arrange his meetings according to the level of energy they give him.
He would set the meetings with a good energy level for the beginning and end of the day and the meetings he’d have preferred not to attend for the middle of the day.
Ron Lev is the creator of the Gold Model method, which is presented and implemented at universities, companies and at an individual level. The Gold Model improves individuals and companies productivity on an average of 55%.