Saturday, August 4, 2007

Need more time in your day?

The most effective time saving tool I ever used was reducing meeting times to 20 minutes.

In my role as a manager and decision maker I was seeing a lot of people. I was busy - so busy I was being ineffective.

When I started having 20 minute meetings people would come to the meetings prepared, focused and usually had a recommendation for action.

If you want to start using your time more effectively, try cutting your meeting times to 20 minutes.

7 comments:

Susan956 said...

I agree and I don't. I agree that way way too long is spent in meetings in many businesses. At the same time putting a tight structure on a meeting can work against individual meeting goals also in some ways. It depends on the workplace society of course.

I spent time with a CEO and GM the other day and after an hour couldn't believe how relaxed they were about offering another 30min or so..really just to kick back and talk. Later I realised that that period had really informed the four present about each other very well and for the overarching need at the time I believe that was invaluable.

If people actually encounter each other minimally in an office area as such, meetings can serve to backfill a certain societal need as well as a functionary one. In certain meetings you can have group laughter and humour and I believe this serves. On the other hand if a meeting is merely designed to make some pragmatic decisions (particularly ideas already kicked about prior) then, yes, I do think a stricter time limit important.

I'm always wary though of going from one end of a continuum to another. I like a bit of a mix and match approach.

Tony said...

Thanks for your comment Susan.

You are right about the mix & match. One of the really smart things I did at the same time was to book 2 hours twice a week to go round all my staff. This time was probably far more valuable than any scheduled meeting.

Susan956 said...

That was a good idea Tony. I'd be interested at some stage in your views and response to management of online sites. I was saying at this meeting how often I find companies trying to develop an online presence and yet poorly staffing the same. Also, not necessarily understanding, or seeking advice on this issue, how people actually behaviourally interact online (to both technology and to others). I often find that all the development $ goes into the site itself with no real prior clue as to how people tend to interact. I think that a true shortfall of holistic design.

From time to time I see a breathtaking site that clearly cost significant money, but it's impossible to easily navigate and use well. The site is simply too time consuming and people click out very early on most sites if responses time and information comes too slowly. And that equates in cyber space little more than 3 to 5 seconds.

Tony said...

Check out http://www.optimalusability.com/
They have an interesting white paper on website usability

Susan956 said...

Thanks Tony.

Tony said...

Congratulations on the coverage you received on Kevin's blog!

Susan956 said...

Oh. Thank you. That is kind of you to say so. It was very! unexpected I must say. Consul also sent me a lovely comment.