Meetings are a common aspect of corporate life. Wrike, an online project management tools provider, came up with a survey in 2015 which showed that 50% of specialists have two to five meetings per week and 35% of them have six or more. The higher your rank is, the more frequent is the number of gatherings.
Even if you aren’t a fan of this kind of schedule, you’ll eventually end up having eight or more hours of meetings in a row. If so, we can give you some suggestions on how to administer your time and energy so you can function at full capacity until the end of the day.
Following these tips, you can stay balanced and efficient, even if you’re swamped in meetings.
DO AN ADVANCED TRIAGE
On Thursday or Friday, you should examine your schedule for the next week and study the scheduled meetings. Try to decide if any of them seems unnecessary in general or for you, if they could be shortened, if you could send someone else as your representative. If a meeting doesn’t have a detailed agenda or an objective, ask for them and in case no one can specify, you should postpone or cancel.
Don’t forget to study up to be ready. If the meeting commences with a discussion regarding the motivation of that particular session, this means people haven’t prepared themselves and you’ve already wasted enough of your valuable time. With just 20 minutes of prioritizing, you can save hours. But, even if you only get back one hour in a day when you have 8 hours of meetings, that means you are the lucky winner of a lunch break. It’s worth it.
Choose from your list of the day meetings that involve one to two other people and casual conversations and then ask your interlocutor to turn these into on walking meetings. One benefit is that physical activity enhances your energy levels. The second one is that a walking meeting becomes the equivalent of a break even if you don’t have one in your agenda.
MAKE THE MEETINGS STIMULATING
Fortunately, not all meetings have to be boring. Discussing with people you like about issues you care about is truly refreshing. Don’t forget that leadership means making connections and meetings are the perfect occasions to do that in a group.
Of course, you should follow your agenda, but a little laughter and sharing didn’t hurt anyone. Making connections outside the program and having some fun helps an executive be in high spirits the entire day. You don’t endure, you enjoy. That mental shift can make a lot of difference.
MAKE SURE THE MEETINGS ALL END ON TIME
People don’t pay much attention to a clock, but most of us won’t ignore the sound of an alarm. Many people have to be reminded that it’s time to get to the point and solve the issue for which the meeting was called to achieve. For example, if you have an hour-long meeting, make sure that your phone or watch beeps at 42 minutes into the meeting. That should help you get out the door within 10 minutes, so you can walk a bit, stretch, and arrive at your next meeting on time.
During a meeting, try to pay attention the whole day and not do anything else. Bring a notebook with you and take notes to keep yourself engaged. If you prefer a more of a visual way of learning, try to draw diagrams to help you better understand what’s being said, as well as stay engaged and have it for future reference. Also, write down in your notebook some points to talk about or questions you want to ask. Don’t interrupt, but pay attention to see if your points are covered or you have to wait for the right moment to ask your questions. If you are focused on seeking out that information, your mind is less likely to wander.
PLAN FOR FOUND TIME
It’s always possible for a meeting to be canceled or to end early. A good time management master can make the most of this unexpected time. Draw up a list of the most important three non-meeting issues that need to be solved for the day. If a spot of time clears up, jump on and deal with one of those tasks, so you won’t have to stay late after your meetings are done.
We advise you to take a few minutes at the end of the day (or on your ride) to review notes and actions to be taken after the day’s meetings. Decide when you’ll do them. If eight hours of meetings don’t result in something of the sort, then that’s eight hours that could have been better spent for sure.
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