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02 2012

WorkHacks to Amp Up Your Week #3: 7 ways to stop the meeting madness

Syndicated from: Box of Crayons

This is the month for changing how you get things done. This is the week for getting charged up on how to do it. This is the blog to show you how. Do you see any white space in your calendar? Of course not. It’s booked from 8am to 6pm with meetings, back to back. That’s why you have to do all your email under the table during the meetings. So get your How I Manage Meetings philosophy in shape. Get clear about which meetings you’ll attend. And make your meetings a beacon of worth-showing-up-to-on-time-ness, rather than the dark abyss of wasted life that so many of them are. Here are 7 ways to get started. Go/No Go 1. Only hold a meeting if you’ve got a decision to make or a celebration to have. These days, a gathering to trade information is a failure to understand the basic technology at your disposal. 2. Only attend the meetings if you know (and care) what the decision is that’s needed or the celebration is that’s being had. See point #1. 3. Don’t show up to the meeting but ask for a list of the actions. See if anyone really (I mean, really really) misses you. See if there is actually a list of actions. (It’s quite a shift when your default answer to a meeting request is “prove why I have to be there” rather than “yes”.) Running 4. Halve the time. Meetings expand to fill the time alloted, so cut things down and watch everything crisp up nicely. 5. Then take off another 10 minutes. Finish ten minutes before the hour or half hour, so people have time to take a breath, figure out what the heck the next meeting is about (and whether they really need to attend), and get there in time. 6. Embrace shrinkage. Dis-invite people who aren’t involved in making the decision or celebrating the celebration. Let your people go free. Send the people who are nervous about missing the meeting the list of actions. Oh yes – that means… 7. Write down the actions. Scott Belsky makes a pretty compelling case to be totally action oriented. Become the VP Of Action Point Nagging. Ask questions like, “so what’s the action from this discussion? And who’ll do it? And by when?” I know you know other ways of making meetings better. (Maybe you’ve also done what it says on the title and Read This Before Our Next Meeting What would you add to the list of seven? By the way – if you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ll love the Great Work Provocations, a nifty Monday – Friday email series.  

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