Finding more time
Now that you have a clear understanding of your meeting landscape and have started using async communications, it’s time to find other areas to clear on your current schedule.
You’re going to use your calendar audit to identify meetings you can cut, shorten, or reduce the frequency.
Schedule Shorter Meetings
Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available, and this definitely applies to meetings. When you put a meeting on the calendar for 30 minutes, you'll typically find 30 minutes worth of stuff to talk about in order to fill the space. Consider shortening your 30 minute meetings to 25, or shortening 1 hour meetings to 45. Shortening a meeting - even by 5 minutes - accomplishes two things:
- It requires you to be more efficient during the allotted meeting time
- Those extra "saved" minutes come back to you in the form of Focus Time
Cut or schedule less frequent meetings
Reviewing your Meeting Audit, ask yourself:
- Are there any 1:1s that could be held less frequently?
- Could you cut your daily standup meeting down to a weekly kickoff and Friday wrap up?
- Could you use a form to turn a daily meeting into a weekly meeting, and then shorten that weekly meeting by 5 minutes?
- How can you combine different strategies to create more space in your calendar?
Make meetings flexible
Type 2 meetings are important, but they often don’t need to happen at a specific time and day. Try making these meetings flexible so Clockwise can reorganize them to find more focus time and resolve conflicts for you.
How to reduce and shorten meetings
Watch this video to hear Anna's advice for cutting and shortening meetings.
Practice: Take action on your audit
Time to make changes. Using your calendar audit, update your 2, 3, 4, and 5 type meetings using these instructions:
- Type 5: Type-5 meetings are easy wins: Cancel them or push them off.
- They should never be recurring.
- Type 4: Scrutinize type-4 meetings very closely. This is a good area to try pushing back (in a nice way) to see if you're truly needed.
- These should almost never be recurring.
- Type 3: Tackling type-3 meetings takes some work, but can really pay off. The best way to minimize your Type 3 meetings are to delegate them across the team while creating feedback loops to share learnings and decisions back to the group.
- Here you can open up more time for yourself now, and on an ongoing basis.
- Plus, delegating some of these meetings to your team helps them grow in their roles.
- Type 2: Evaluate type-2 meetings for frequency and for timing.
- For example, maybe not all of your one-on-ones need be weekly. You should also mark these meetings as flexible when they don’t need to occur at a very specific time.
Test your knowledge about acting on meetings and then move on to the final chapter about evaluating meeting invites