Your meeting audit
The first step to strategically reduce your meeting load is to understand the landscape of your meetings through a meeting audit.
A meeting audit is an assessment of your meeting landscape in order to understand where your time in meetings is going.
When we're moving from meeting to meeting and deadline to deadline, it can be difficult to understand how we're spending our time. Doing a meeting audit requires you to pause and reconnect with why you're spending time in each of your meetings.
To do this, you will assign each meeting a rating from 1-5 in order of importance. Rating your meetings requires you to be thoughtful about the purpose of the meeting and the value you add by attending. Conducting a meeting audit doesn't have to be complicated, and it has the potential to change everything.
How to perform your audit
Watch this video to learn more from Anna on how to conduct your audit.
Practice: Conducting your audit
It’s your turn! Follow these instructions to perform your lightweight calendar audit:
Step 1: Find a representative week on your calendar
Look at your calendar and find a week that doesn’t have anything out of the ordinary. If you rarely go on business trips, offsites, or conferences, find a week without any of those.
Step 2: Print that week or save as a PDF
Step 3: Label your meetings
For every event on your calendar, give it a rating of 1-5 in order of importance:
- Mission-critical events you absolutely have to attend and have little control over
- Examples: Staff meetings, board meetings
- Events you need to attend to do your job and no one else can attend for you
- Examples: One-on-ones
- Someone needs to attend these, but with enough lead time and training, someone else could attend these for you
- Examples: Code reviews, planning team meetings, interviews
- Events that straddle the line between necessary and nice-to-have
- Examples: Cross-functional one-on-ones
- Events that have no real impact on your job
- Examples: Meetings outside your areas of direct responsibility that you attend just to be nice
Step 4: Calculate how much time you spending in meeting types 3, 4, and 5
This is the amount of time that’s available to you if you’re able to delegate, be more selective, and say no more often, and you’ll learn strategies for these in the next chapter.
Tell us about your meeting audit and then move onto the next chapter to learn how to put your audit into action.