- Consecutive weekly meetings can cost your employees up to 300 000 hours a year
- Your time is likely to appreciate in value as your business does
- Invest your time on process early, to avoid spending time putting out fires later.
If you’ve sat in a meeting wondering how much that time was costing the company in terms of salaries, consider using the Harvard Business Review’s business meeting cost calculator to put a figure on it – and try not to die of shock when you do.
The reality is that most meetings are nothing more than huge time wasters – and they’re impacting your bottom line as a result.
There is a solution though. A meeting budget helps keep meetings brief, freeing up time for productive, revenue generating tasks.
This is how it works, according to HBR: “If you want to invite a member of staff to your meeting, it will get taken off your budget. The cost of inviting loads of people to come along and listen to a PowerPoint presentation actually becomes valued, and you have to think: ‘Do we actually need this person there?’”
The big idea: The smaller the team, the quicker it goes
A Harvard Business Review study found that consecutive weekly meetings can consume up to 300 000 hours a year of employees’ time.
Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’ take on meetings is simple. The more people you pack into the meeting, the less productive the meeting will likely be. The solution? Never have a meeting where two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire group.
What’s in it for you: You’ll get more done in less time
Scheduling fewer meetings can boost your team’s productivity, which is why other business leaders have adopted methods like Bezos’ for reining in these often time-wasting gatherings.
Basecamp CEO Jason Fried allows his employees to work a 32-hour workweek in summer, and 40 hours for the remainder of the year. “People are always surprised by that and I tell them you can get plenty of stuff done in 32 and 40 hours if you cut out all the stuff that’s taking up your time,” he says.
And the added bonus: Basecamp employees value the trust placed in them, which gives an added boost to team productivity.
Make it happen:
3 Ways to help you preserve your time and watch your diary clear up
- Know what your own time is worth. Remind yourself of it constantly. If you do, you’ll find yourself more productive, more efficient, more satisfied, and more successful.
- Walk and talk. Standing meetings cut meeting times significantly – as does walking and talking, a favourite of Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama. Both methods are proven to help people work better.
- Promote quiet spaces. In his book Deep Work, Cal Newport insists that anything of value is strictly created by a period of isolated concentration.