How to manage your meetings

English: "Wilshire Room," company in...
Meetings can take up a huge chunk of your working day, your week and your month.

Manage your meetings and you'll be managing your time better.

You don't have to attend every meeting you get invited to and you need to make sure you value the ones that you do.

Are you the best person to attend?  Could someone else attend in your place?  Make sure you have an agenda for the meeting, so you know what's expected of you and others.

Back to back meetings are time consuming, stressful and create more work that needs to be fitted in once you're back in the office.

A meeting is not just a meeting - it's much more and the impact on your time is often under-estimated.

As well as the time you spend in the actual meeting, you need to take into account:

  • the time it takes to get to the meeting
  • planning and preparation time before the meeting
  • follow-up and actions that come from the meeting
  • additional workload and projects resulting from the meeting

Only schedule a manageable amount of meetings each week.  Block out time before and after each meeting to allow for travelling.  If other people schedule meetings, let them know what's a manageable amount.

If you've had a busy week of meetings, schedule a couple of clear days the following week in order to clear the decks, catch up on work and admin as well as process what's come out of each meeting.

Think about it the next time you say "yes" to a meeting.  It's not just the one or two hours you spend in that one meeting but all the additional hours that go before and after.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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