Why am I here and what’s the Agenda?

Your time is valuable and precious, so why let people take it away from you?

Purple Patch

I value my time, Professionally and Personally. Let’s be honest, we don’t have a lot of it!

I am a highly efficient, effective, and productive individual. If there’s one thing I want the people around me to know and think, it’s that Danielle gets s**t done.

I’ve always been “a doer”, as my Mum would say. That, I believe is a natural trait I see what needs to be done and execute, but I’ve had to really work and craft my daily habits to maximise my productivity.

In this short post, I want to share one of the most effective ways I protect my time and who knows, you might even adopt some of these strategies yourself.

Meetings for the sake of meetings!
Do not, under any circumstances, accept meetings that appear in your calendar if there is:

  • No agenda included in the invite
  • No email from the organiser, setting context prior to invite being received
  • Key individuals are missing from the invite who are required for the topic
  • No clear location or webinar instructions

“If it is not clear what the meeting is about, or why you’re being invited don’t be afraid to ask the question”

We have all been there. Sat in a meeting where you’re wondering “what am I doing here” or “why was I even invited?”. You simply end up being disengaged, thinking about all the other things you need to get done!

Politely respond and ask for some context. By doing so, you might establish that you’re not really required and actually, there’s someone else who would be better placed in the meeting. On the flip side, you might find that this is actually a very important meeting, you can now better prepare making the time more effective, also eliminating the chance of a second meeting where you may have had to back track. You can also determine how long you actually need for the meeting, don’t be afraid to suggest less or more time if you feel it would be beneficial.

How long does this meeting really need to be? (I mean really?)
One of my pet hates is people walking in late to a meeting. You must always be respectful of your time and everyone else’s. Turning up late is disrespectful, it disrupts the flow of the meeting, as they will need to recap for you, and that takes away valuable time that could be given back to the attendees.

Most people are genuinely late to a meeting because they have back to back meetings, leaving no time to get from one room to the other, or allow themselves a bio break! Why do people do this to themselves!?

HOT TIP ALERT! There are settings in your calendar that allow your default meeting times to be 25 or 50 minutes long. Amazing right! The psychology of this limited-time also means you are more effective in the meeting. You get down to business, discuss what needs to be done and layout the next steps. And guess what, if you can get out early and give time back people they will love you for it!

“If you want to be more productive then start at the start: Get there on time”

Richard Branson
Entrepreneur Virgin and many more

Making your meetings truly effective

Logistics – start the meeting with these three things…

1. Who is here and why?

Sometimes your throw into a meeting and you might not have met some of the individuals, especially if it’s a large organisation or you’re new. So, ask, “does everyone here know each other or do we need to do quick introductions?”

All you need is their name, role, and responsibilities relating to the meeting. That’s it, 30 seconds’ maximum.

2. What is the purpose of the meeting

Quickly read the agenda, or recap on the context of the meeting. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

3. What are the expected outcomes of the meeting

This could be as simple as “everyone will leave this room up to speed on the projects current state” or “we will determine who will walk away with what responsibilities”.

Logistics – end each meeting with these three simple things

1. Recap the purpose of the meeting

2. Confirm next steps, what the actions are, and who is responsible

3. If necessary, confirm point two in an email to all attendees (including those that couldn’t make it)

Even if you’re not the organiser of the meeting, you can always encourage the above to happen.

These things are so easy and I guarantee, by simply implementing these small things, you’ll see just how easy it is to eliminate meetings that are not relevant, or make you more effective with the meetings you do have.

Thanks for reading,

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Purple Patch