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How to split your time and not to be buried by meetings

Maksim Shalamov
11-17-2020 14:37
How to split your time and not to be buried by meetings

The time problem

A lot of managers, especially the junior ones, face the time problem. A special time consuming category is meetings. They may last the whole day or even overlap. Today I am going to share my experience on what to do in order not be buried by meetings and sustain productivity.

Work with your meetings calendar

It’s crucial to understand that not all the meetings are important and demand your attention. It may sound weird, but not every meeting is so urgent that you have to move all your other things aside.
The first thing you take as a rule (if you haven’t done that), all the meetings should be in your calendar so you could plan your time. It’s a standard practice and shouldn’t cause any problems.

Understand your priorities

The second rule is understanding your priorities throughout the day. You should know which tasks are crucial and should have your full attention and which ones you can move to another day or after the crucial stuff is done. Let’s see the example of how it works. Imagine you are involved in a crucial task. This moment your colleague comes and asks for help. If this job is taking longer than five minutes, you should choose what is more important – your initial task or helping a colleague (they may have a critical situation in production, for example). If your task is more important, ask for a meeting or any other reminder at another convenient time. Meanwhile go on with your tasks. The same thing is with meetings. If the meeting is of lower priority – skip it.

Do not go to useless meetings

The third advice is to find out which meetings are useless for you. Everyone has them; you need to reject such things. You can define a useless meetings by the following criteria:
  • You have nothing to say there;
  • There are no important issues there;
  • Rules or your superiors do not require your presence.
When these criteria are met – you can skip the meeting.
What if a meeting is not really important, but you have to go to it? Ask your subordinate to come. It is going to be useful for them (new experience, understanding how the colleagues work, communications). This way you can clear your schedule. Firstly, take your delegates with you to such meetings; explain what to pay attention to and how to behave. Then sit quiet during these meetings. After a few rounds you can start skipping them. You should always do two things before asking someone else to go – brief this person (tell what to pay attention to, what to ask/do) and ask for a follow-up.


Following these easy rules can lighten your schedule and pay more attention to some high priority tasks.
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