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Time Management - Lesson 10: Time Management For Students In Organizations

Time Fact #10:

Professionals make an average of 22 phone calls a day.

Managing TIMEly Meetings – Part 2

  • Get people to meetings on time

- In one company the person conducting meetings stood by the door. When it was time to start, all empty chairs were removed from the room. Anyone who came late was compelled to remain standing facing the group. People in that company learned to arrive on time.

- Vote a latecomer in as group secretary.

- Alter the agenda so a latecomer’s pet project has been discussed before they arrive.

  • See that only the people who need to be at the meeting are there. Write down the names of those people who should be in attendance for the different items on the agenda. This may mean adjusting your agenda or possibly having somebody arrive in the middle of the meeting or leave early. Carbon the agenda to anyone who might have valuable input and permit them to attend if they feel it is appropriate.

  • Hold briefing meetings standing up. A briefing session is when you get briefed briefly. When people come into your office for a meeting, you might say, “I’m going to invite you not to sit down. It will save your time and mine.” Sometimes it’s good to hold standup meetings in a corridor where there are no chairs.

  • Meet in someone else’s office. A meeting in another person’s office is easier to end than a meeting in your own office. Most of us find it easier to say I’ve got to go now than to say you’ve got to go now.

  • Limit verbosity. People have pet issues, and regardless of whether those pet issues are relevant or not, they feel compelled to air them. When you start a meeting elicit everyone’s cooperation in sticking to the agenda and speaking in as few words as possible.

  • Exiting A Meeting. If only one or two items on an agenda apply to you and most items apply to all participants ask the committee chair to have your agenda items moved up.

  • Distribute Meeting Minutes immediately after the meeting. Keep them brief, i.e., Topic/Discussion/Action. Action can be subdivided into who’s going to do and what needs to be done/when will it be done.

  • If your purpose in attending a meeting is to “put in an appearance” then consider arriving late and leaving early. (You might let key participants know of your busy schedule that afternoon.)

  • Quiet Time – (Wonderful Wednesday – A Day Without Interruption). You have blocked out time on your calendar to think, to concentrate on developing a new strategic program, to write a report, or to finish a task in one hour rather than three hours. Will you be left alone? Probably not, unless you take steps to protect yourself. Here is how it works at Dallas Community College. Administrations and supervisors agree not to hold meetings and not to call each other on designated Wednesdays. They tell secretaries they’re in conference and should not be bothered — or else disappear to the library or some undisturbed place. They do, however, leave instructions on how to be reached in an emergency.

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