Managing the Meetings Juggernaut

Just like many SitePoint devotees, I spend much of my week involved in meetings. I have meetings with new clients, a number of recurring internal meetings, and I sometimes attend creative briefings. Unfortunately, these meetings inevitably result in work for me to do, and it’s often difficult to manage your time when you’re attending as many as two or three meetings a day.

One trick I’ve learned is to be the one to suggest the meeting time. This gives you better control over your calendar, with the opportunity to set the time that best suits you.

I try to avoid more than two meetings a day. That might sound too restrictive, but sometimes I’m invited to four or more a day, so you can see it adds up quickly if I let it. I know that I’m most productive at the start of the day—where I’m at my desk at least an hour earlier than most of my colleagues—so that’s a no-go zone for meetings. There are also less calls towards the end of my day.

What I do is set meetings where possible for either 9.00 or 9.30 in the morning, and then 3.00 or 3.30 in the afternoon. That way, I gain a few good solid hours in the middle of the day to actually get things done. I appreciate that we’re all different, so this system mightn’t work for you; yet limiting meetings and spreading them out in your day can certainly help you keep on top of your other duties.

Next time a person asks if you have time on Tuesday to meet, suggest 9.00 a.m. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the meeting can be scheduled, enabling you to maintain control of your day.

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  • Allyson Stewart

    You’re absolutely correct. Meetings can definitely put a damper on work. Like you, I’m much more productive in the morning than afternoon. Great idea to be the first to suggest a meeting time. Personally, I would love to do away with meetings altogether, but that’s not always feasible. Another option, especially when I’m meeting a client outside of the office, is to do a phone meeting. I often find those meetings shorter and more to-the-point.