I want to talk about the biggest time suckers: meetings. I feel like there was a time in my life where all I did was go to meetings, meetings, and more meetings. I struggled to figure out when I could do my actual work.
new format - video
This Month’s Focus - How Purposeful Hustlers make better use of their time
Time-sucking meetings show up in different industries and people must deal with it. I want to share three tips I have used over the years to take my meeting times from completely sucking up all my time to being more productive and have meetings leading to something or meetings where I feel like I should be.
TRICK #1 - AVOID UNNECCESSARY MEETINGS
I try not to have any unnecessary meetings. An unnecessary meeting is one that you could do by email, so one of my favorite go-to is to say to people, “is this something that we could handle by email?”
“Could we hash out most of this by email?” Those are all the key phrases that you can use when you think it might be more efficient if to communicate in a written form versus trying to call a meeting.
TRICK #2 - CHUNK YOUR TIME
The second technique I like to use is figuring out how to chunk my time. Instead of having one meeting at 8 AM, one at 4 PM, and another at 6 PM, I try to have all my meeting time on any given day chunked together. I typically do meetings that are about 30 minutes and do them back-to-back. Sometimes, they have to be a little bit longer, but I make sure to chunk out 30 minutes slots. That way, people I meet with understand I have 30 minutes together is a very useful technique, and putting those chunks of time.
Devoting between 8 and 11 o'clock or between 8 and noon as my meeting times, but outside of that I'm not going to be taking any meetings, really helps me to focus the rest of my time on the other things I am working. All of this can be done efficiently if you also did step number three, which is taking out the commuting time.
trick #3 - take out commuting time
Now I know that finding parking and driving and getting the directions, making sure you get there on time, Finding a place to sit, all of those things can take up a lot of extra time. A meeting that would only be 30 minutes can take an hour and a half or two hours because you added all those other components.
One of the things that I started to use this last year to reduce the extra parts of meetings is the video chat format. I like seeing and chatting with people. I like being able to see their beautiful faces and connecting with them, but I also recognize that if I'm doing all that commuting stuff too, by the time I get to them, sometimes I'm already frustrated or I'm flustered. The video chat allows you to have the best of both worlds: you can still connect with people and see their beautiful faces. You can catch their body language, but at the same time, you don't have to have all of that commuting time added into your space.
So there you have, three really simple techniques to stop wasting time.
- Try and get things that don't require a meeting, done by email.
- Chunk your time so that you're using your time most efficiently.
- Try the video chat format to reduce commuting time. It's awesome.
That's it for this week. I hope those three techniques help you find a little bit more time in your schedule to hustle with purpose!