Time is something that we all have exactly the same amount of as each other and yet some people seem to do so much more with their allotted amount than others. One of the questions that I am asked the most is how to make more time? Well, the simple answer is that you can’t. But, what you can do is save time: make better use of the time that you have.
Most things will take as long as you allow them to. So, an easy way of saving time is to give everything you do a set amount of time: making it less than you normally might.
One of the biggest users of time are meetings. Endless meetings, meetings to discuss meetings, meetings because that is what you are suppose to do.
I firmly believe that most meetings could be at least 25% shorter, maybe 50%, and that some meetings need not happen at all. I will explain my rationale.
Most meetings are given a set time: 30 minutes, an hour, maybe two, maybe even all day. Then an agenda is worked out to fill the time decided on. A meeting might be scheduled for 2 hours every week and so it is filled up with stuff to take two hours. But what if there are only 20 minutes of material to cover?
So, how about trying this? Decide what needs to be covered in a meeting and however long that requirement is, that is the length of the meeting: whether it be 20 minutes or one hour and thirty-five minutes. Trust me, no one will complain about having shorter meetings if it means they get something else done.
Another major loss of time in meetings is bad chairmanship; people getting way off the subject in hand and being allowed to waffle. Every point on the agenda should have a fixed amount of time and then that time stuck to.
Practise just these two things and I promise you will save hours of time.
I titled this blog ‘The West Wing’ I don’t know if you have ever watched the programme but if you have you will have noticed that some of the President’s meetings are just a few minutes long. When what needs to be said has been said the meeting is over and it’s on to the next one. Now before you say “It’s only a TV show” do you really think a President runs the US without having such meetings?