It’s Time To Save Time By Taking Less Meetings
Do you ever feel like you’re in too many meetings?
I guess these days it’s more like Zoom video meetings. Especially in this time of coronavirus and social distancing when people aren’t available in-person, meetings are more important than ever to stay coordinated.
Most businesses are allowing employees to work from home when feasible, and as such it’s wise to use the time we spend communicating with our teams as efficiently as possible.
But sometimes my day is so saturated with client and team video calls that I can never find the heads down time to actually do the work.
What I’m discovering is that when it comes to meetings – sometimes they’re just wasteful time sucks.
Whether you’re meeting with clients or team members, less can mean more.
As the CEO of FunnelMarketr, regional VP of Tier 4 Advisors, and Fractional CMO of half a dozen businesses, I have meetings lined up every single day – and the time really accumulates.
A quick project update to a client can quickly turn into a long-winded strategy call…
And a strategy call can easily become an hour-long conversation if I don’t remain mindful.
Not to mention the time we spend waiting on the person who’s always a few minutes late, and the time wasted sidetracked on adjacent topics.
Before you know it, what was supposed to be a 30-minute meeting has already taken double that.
And even when a meeting is brief, it can still jar my focus and interrupt my workflow. It throws a wrench in the groove of my process, whether I’m in a creative or analytical headspace.
So What Do You Do About Meeting Overload?
The answer is as simple as you’d think – though perhaps it’s easier said than done.
Recently, I’ve started to put my foot down and minimize the number of meetings I take.
It’s not easy saying no – but I’ve found that sometimes it’s just a necessity. If you’re an executive or in a managerial position where you’re able to do the same, sometimes you need to say no as well.
Let me tell it to you straight:
- It’s okay to go heads down for a few hours to get to work.
- It’s okay to tell team members that you’ll have to touch base later on (or even urge them to send a DM instead).
- It’s okay to be straight with clients and tell them you can’t take an additional meeting at this time.
At least in my situation – even though I often work around the clock, I know that if I said yes to every meeting request that I would rarely find the time to get the actual work done.
One of the best things about meetings is being able to talk things through with your team. This can be key in strategizing or brainstorming since there’s a synergistic quality to tackling projects as a group. But it’s a bit ironic that meetings are meant to make processes smoother, and yet they can end up being completely counterproductive.
Yes, sometimes collaboration only impedes productivity. Not everything needs to be discussed in a meeting.
Shifting to a more-walk-less-talk workday enables me to serve my clients better. It gives me the space and time I need to execute and deliver.
As an entrepreneur and Fractional CMO, oftentimes I tend to have the urge to do it all myself. I’m used to being extremely hands-on with every client, on every project.
But these days I’m actively working to fight this instinct.
I’m letting myself delegate more to my team because I trust their judgments. I’ve always known this but sometimes I get so caught up in handling everything personally that I forget how dependable they are.
I’ve also taken steps to let my Virtual Assistants handle a lot of my client communications to clean up my schedule and ramp up my personal productivity. They filter information down to the essentials and handle the back-and-forth, and it saves me a ton of time.
Less meetings isn’t just about time management. It’s about maintaining my productivity, creativity, and peace of mind (which is always underrated).
And when executed well, it has a positive impact on profitability too.
Here are the 3 simple questions you need to consider before taking a meeting:
- Is this meeting necessary – can our objectives be met in a less time-consuming way?
- Is this meeting well-planned – are all attendees and agenda points relevant to the subject at hand?
- Is the right information available – are attendees prepared to knock out the topics of discussion in an organized and streamlined manner?
It’s time to start thinking more critically about taking meetings because wasted time is wasted money.
Maybe your client doesn’t need as many project updates as you have scheduled – and you could better share project status updates via email.
Maybe your daily team call to keep people on track doesn’t need to be a daily team call – and everyone can share their daily objectives through scheduled group chat messaging instead.
My point is, sometimes meetings are just plain unnecessary. And when a meeting is needed, it’s best to streamline it by keeping a tight agenda and making sure attendees are ready to communicate and collaborate.
More mindful meeting culture will improve the day-to-day production of you and your team members…
It’s just up to you to take the first step.