How to finish a meeting on time

Now the title of this post may appear rather obvious to many, but here in Spain it is a challenge to start a meeting on time so actually FINISHING a meeting on time can seem like a “mission impossible”.

However, as I reiterate in our meetings training courses to Spanish participants, if they are doing business with anglo saxons which requires leading meetings, an adherence to timings is essential.

Is your to-do list really serving you?

I was talking to a friend about time management the other day. He was telling me that he has so many alarms attached to all his tasks and appointments that when they ring, he actually doesn’t take any notice of them, mmmm. Before I had time to say anything, he made the pertinent comment himself, “you know, Janice, that really doesn’t serve me!”

It made me think… how many of us pile all our tasks regardless of time frame and priority onto a calendar or one massive to-do list?

How to delegate tasks at work

In order to be fully productive at work and to perform without stress, it is imperative that we delegate tasks. If done correctly, delegation saves us time in the long run and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential.

When delegating, we have to consider three things:

  1. Which tasks to delegate
  2. Who to delegate the task to
  3. How we set up and monitor the delegation process

To multitask or not to multitask

Without a doubt we feel a great satisfaction in getting things done. So much so, that we’ve got into the habit of trying to get several things done at once believing that by doing so, we’ll achieve more. This is a complete illusion. Multitasking is the enemy of effective productivity. Studies now demonstrate that our productivity goes down by as much as 40% when we multitask. And another study showed that being distracted by email and phone calls causes a 10 point fall in our IQ – that’s the same impact as losing a night’s sleep and twice the effect of smoking marijuana!

Not only does multitasking increase the probability of making mistakes, but if you are trying to do something whilst in conversation with someone, and thus not paying them your full attention, you could be on a slippery path to damaging your relationship with that person.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are not multi tasking, we are switch tasking; basically we are stopping doing one task to start another – all the time. Where is the sense in that?

Choose to be “Happy Busy”

I recently gave a time management course where one of the sessions was dedicated to our attitude towards time. It’s probably something that the course participants didn’t think would be an integral part of the training, but as we went through the session, I could see, from the expresssion on their faces, that indeed, they felt that changes in
attitude could have a significant influence on how they would manage their time
in the future.

Time is a great leveller; we all have the same amount of time in the day to deal with. And there are two aspects to this –

  • how we organise ourselves to get our tasks done
  • how we feel about the things we have to do or are not able to do

How to manage your To Do list

In time management it’s extremely difficult to know what to do if you haven’t written your tasks down. However, even though they write their tasks down, many people still find it difficult to work from their To Do list simply because of the sheer number of tasks they see grouped together, the list looks overwhelming!

It’s extremely important to have a list that is manageable and that allows you to see task type at a glance. This way you don’t waste time looking for a task to fit the time and energy window you have.

How can we overcome procrastination?

What I like about time management is that the subject is essentially about SELF MANAGEMENT. We all have the same amount of hours in the day, yet even when two people are using the same time management tools, one is often more productive in the long term than the other. Why is this?

One important factor is related to procrastination. Procrastination is the behaviour of putting off tasks that you know you need to do.