No matter where you work; big company, startup company, or self-employed. I think we’re all agree that time is such a precious and important aspect of ours.
However, very often people hesitance to say no to a meeting invitation. Before they knew it, their calendar gets cramped and complained about how they don’t have enough time to either do the work or think.
If you’re in this situation, look at your calendar and try to do these five actions:
Is there any recurring meeting that you can let go?
A lot of us have a recurring meeting, either it’s bi-weekly or weekly meeting. In the beginning, maybe the intention is good. But after a while, that recurring meeting often becomes less efficient due to the nature of your team dynamic or project dynamic. The idea is to identify those and ask if it is worth to take everyone’s time?
2. Loosen up
Is there any weekly meeting that you can loosen up to bi-weekly?
Try to see if you really need those weekly meeting. Gauge how important to those meetings based on your current priorities. See which meetings you can loosen up to bi-weekly so you can have more time to work or focus on other things.
Can you reduce any meeting down to 30 or 45 minutes?
If you have 2 hours meeting, that’s probably not gonna be super-efficient. Realistically, do you need those 2 hours to resolve the issue? Most of the time, I witnessed people spend hours of meeting just to discuss something they can resolve via chat or email.
Is there any meeting you can stack together to give yourself more time collectively?
The last thing you can do is to re-arrange a few meetings. Just by doing that, you can have a better window of time. So, say here’s how your schedule looks like:
- 1.00-1.30 PM (30 minutes of meeting)
- 1.30-2.30 PM (1 hour of working time)
- 2.30-3.30 PM (1 hour of meeting)
- 3.30-5.00 PM (2 hours of working time)
If possible, re-arrange those 2.30-3.30 PM meeting. Say, we can re-arrange it to 1.30. Then, you’ll have 3 hours as a window of time to work. It’s just better to reduce the context-switching over and over.
At this point, hopefully, you have more time after doing those 4 actions above. Now, ask yourself, if you have more time in this world, what would you want to focus? Pick one or two per week.
It’s a balancing act.
Of course, you can’t just ignore all the meetings or reduce them.
These may look simple but often forgotten because of that.
Time is precious, be conscious about it. Work hard is good, but work smart is better.