Make Your Meetings Count
How to spend less time in meetings.
I have spent almost two years of my life in meetings.
My son asked me yesterday, after a day full of meetings, “If you added up all of your meetings, how long would that be?”
What a great question! So, we did the math.
I probably average five hours per week in meetings. In my early career, I probably had 1-3 meetings a week… this week I have 17 meetings. So, I would say a good conservative average is five hours per week.
52 weeks in a year…
260 hours per year spent in meetings, or 32.5 workdays’ worth.
Time in my professional career in which I will have spent in meetings: 15 years.
3,900 hours over 15 years. That is 487.5 workdays’ worth... 1.87 years of meetings so far.
Seriously. It does not seem like a lot as I go through my day, but when you add it all up that is a big chunk of my life! Time that could be spent, in my opinion, doing so many other things.
This morning, I spent some time wondering we have so many meetings in the first place, and what we can do to reduce this number. Because I'm sure we would all like some of that time back to do greater things!
This could have been an email.
I realized that most of the meetings I am in are meant to gather or disseminate information. Rarely are they meant to brainstorm or share great ideas for new products or services.
When I have updates from my client, or progress on a project, I don’t share it immediately. I just hold it until our team meeting. But why?
Let’s start practicing “who should know”. When anything noteworthy happens, ask yourself, who should know? Then get that email out, keep the stakeholders in the loop, and avoid the meeting!
The right tool for the job.
Meetings have their rightful place, but sometimes they're just not the right tool for the job. We live in a tech-enabled society, so why not utilize these tools?
- If you have information to share, record a quick video to send to your team so they can watch it when they have a free moment.
- Use instant messaging for quick questions or brainstorming sessions that require just a few people.
- Build an internal newsletter to share exciting developments and keep everyone updated on what's happening in your organization.
- Pick up the phone! Many issues can be resolved with a quick phone call. Need some direction? Don't schedule a meeting; get the decision makers on the line and get to a resolution quickly.
Trust your team.
Many of us are passionate about what we do and want to be in the know and a part of the decision-making process. But sometimes we have to trust others to make the call.
I cannot count how many meetings I have been in throughout my career where literally everyone is on a meeting to determine the tiniest detail.
Trust your team. Let them make the call and share the outcome with you (in an email).
Let’s make a change.
Every role I have been in (the military, Department of Defense, advertising, insurance…) all have the same issue. Meetings. For. Days. Let’s change that!
While we obviously cannot eradicate meetings entirely, perhaps we can reduce the number of “information only” meetings and better spend our time having brainstorms, idea-generating, and creative meetings. I challenge you to take back your life, one saved meeting at a time!
This article was written by Joshua Cruce, Chief Strategy Officer of Brush Country Claims.
About Brush Country Claims
Brush Country Claims is an independent adjusting firm that offers a full claims solution for residential, commercial, daily, and catastrophe claim management. Brush Country utilizes an innovative suite of proprietary technology to maximize customer experience while consistently having some of the fastest cycle times in the industry. A human led, tech forward approach embraces the grassroots beginnings of the company as well as their incredible drive to propel into the future.