Tag Archives: Meetings

Add Some Breathing Room to Your Meeting Schedule With the Margin Method

Add Some Breathing Room to Your Meeting Schedule With the Margin Method

Back to back meetings can overwhelm your days and leave you with hardly any time to get anything else done. You can give yourself some much needed wiggle room with the meeting margin method.

If you don’t take a break between meetings, you don’t have time to reflect on what your meetings accomplish or set things in motion. On the Study Hacks blog, Cal Newport recommends a simple strategy to keep back to back meetings from eating up your entire schedule so you can keep productive:

Assume you have to schedule a meeting that lasts X minutes. Instead of blocking off X minutes on your calendar, block off (1.5)*X minutes. For example, if you agree to attend a 30 minute meeting starting at 2:00 pm, try to block out 2:00 to 2:45 on your calendar. Similarly, if it was a 60 minute meeting, try to block out 2:00 to 3:30. And so on.

The key is to keep your meeting to its originally proposed length, and keep those extra minutes for yourself to use as needed. You’re not extending the length of the meeting, just the time you blocked out for it. This gives you time to process what was discussed, catch up on things like emails and phone calls you may have missed during the meeting, and get started on the real work to turn your meeting’s ideas into actions. This extra time also lets you take a break if you need it to de-stress, grab another cup of coffee, or have a snack.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-have-a-…

Schedule Meeting Margins | Study Hacks

Photo by George Redgrave.

Make Your Meetings More Effective and Efficient by Standing Up

One of our most popular productivity tips is to stand during meetings, and for good reason—sitting makes everyone comfortable and complacent, while standing forces people to stay on task. This video from In59Seconds explains why it works so well, and how you don’t have to sacrifice good decision-making for speed.

http://lifehacker.com/keep-your-meet…

In short, researchers took two groups of people, and presented them with the same challenge: pretend you and your team have crash-landed on the moon and most of your equipment has been broken or destroyed. Now you have to choose which of the remaining equipment is most important to your survival. The groups were timed, and the only difference between the two is that one team was allowed to sit, while the other stood. Both groups came up with the same number of correct answers—but the standing team got to the point faster.

It’s just one example, but the bottom line is that when you need to make an important decision, and you have to do it by committee, in a hurry, a standing meeting will get you where you need to go more quickly than if everyone pulls up a chair. Press play to watch the video above (it’s only a minute long) or hit the link below to check out the video at YouTube.

How to Instantly Improve Your Meetings | In59Seconds (YouTube)


Employ a “Silence Denotes Agreement” Rule to Get Better Feedback

Employ a "Silence Denotes Agreement" Rule to Get Better Feedback

A meeting with your colleagues is the best time to bring up new ideas or object to ones already on the floor. If that’s not happening, try suggesting a new rule: if you’re silent, that means you agree.

As business site Harvard Business Review explains, meetings can understandably be intimidating. However, if your team is keeping quiet, you could be missing out on new ideas. Worse yet, someone may be completely silent during the meeting, but object to the plan once everyone is gone. This makes it harder to move forward. Instead, this rule encourages everyone to speak up:

These three words do a great job of forcing people to open up, no matter how reluctant (or passive-aggressive) they may be feeling. Explain to people that if they don’t say anything when given a proposal or plan, they’re voting “yes” to it. Silence doesn’t mean “I’m not voting” or “I reserve the right to weigh in later.” It means “I’m completely on board with what’s being discussed.”

If your team has a lot of passive people who prefer direct, one-on-one conversations to speak their mind, this new method may take some coaxing. If you’re running a meeting, try asking each person one at a time if they’re on board with what’s being discussed. Give them an opening so their voices aren’t trampled. But eventually, get your team used to the idea that if you’re not speaking up, it’s assumed you’re on board.

Before a Meeting, Tell Your Team That Silence Denotes Agreement | HBR

Photo by John Benson.


Meetbug Makes It Easy to Find a Time and Place to Catch Up with Friends

Web: Services that promise to make scheduling get-togethers easy are a dime a dozen, but Meetbug makes the whole affair so easy you won’t feel like you’re struggling to find the right time—you’ll just enjoy looking forward to spending time with your friends again.

Meetbug starts you off with a simple screen to create your event. Type in what you want to do, like “meet for coffee,” and the service will suggest a few headlines, like “Let’s meet for coffee!” or “Let’s catch up over coffee,” just to spice up your invitation. Use the calendar to add some dates, then the sliders on the left to propose specific times on those dates. Once you’re done, save your invite—this is where the service asks you to sign up for an account to save your invite and send it out to other people. Each invite gets a unique link, so you can email it to your friends (who’ll have to sign up to vote on dates and times and add their own suggestions, so keep that in mind.)

Once your friends click the link, that’s where the service really shines. They can just give you their vote on dates and times, suggest locations, or hop into the chat that Meetbug creates for your event and talk to you live, offering feedback and alternative dates, times, or locations. If all of you join at once, you can all chat together, or everyone can leave messages you can check later.

The service is completely free, and surprisingly fun to use. It’d be nice if Meetbug hooked into Google Calendar or Facebook events, but that’s probably the next step. Even so, right now it’s useful. Give it a try at the link below.

Meetbug

Get All of Your Weekly Meetings Out of the Way With a “Meeting Marathon”

Get All of Your Weekly Meetings Out of the Way With a “Meeting Marathon”

Meetings are important, but they can also put a major damper on your productivity. If you schedule them all for one work day, the rest of the week can be a lot more efficient.

We’ve talked about having a meeting-free day before, but Eric Schweikardt and Brad Feld at Modular Robotics use the opposite of that concept: the “meeting marathon.” Schweikardt explains:

I switched all of my regular on-one-one meetings for the week to Tuesday, a single day with nine meetings in a row, no break… and have four days to do my own work.

Schweikardt also notes that by the end of his meeting marathons, he usually feels fulfilled and not exhausted. Furthermore, having so many meetings back to back made it easier for him to spot trends and issues that dwell below the surface level of having only one meeting a day. You may not necessarily be in charge of when you have your meetings, but you might still be able to suggest ways to make them better.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-have-a-…

I Love Days with Nine Meetings in a Row | Modular Robotics Blog via Inc.

Photo by National Assembly for Wales.

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

Traveling with a suit can be a bit of a hassle. Do you wear it on your flight or pack it? Here’s a simple rule to help you decide.

You probably don’t want to wear your suit and be uncomfortable while you travel, but there’s also a chance you can wrinkle your suit when you pack it. Jonathan Brill at Quora suggests a simple rule to help you decide:

If your meeting is the day of the flight, you wear it, if it’s the next day, you pack it.

It could be a meeting, an interview, a wedding, whatever. If it’s happening that day, you’re better off not risking the wrinkles and creases. Just make sure you don’t spill anything on it! If you decide to pack your suit, be sure to do it the right way.

http://wayfarer.lifehacker.com/the-most-compa…

Is it better to wear a suit or put it in a suitcase when traveling? | Quora

Photo by bark.

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

Traveling with a suit can be a bit of a hassle. Do you wear it on your flight or pack it? Here’s a simple rule to help you decide.

You probably don’t want to wear your suit and be uncomfortable while you travel, but there’s also a chance you can wrinkle your suit when you pack it. Jonathan Brill at Quora suggests a simple rule to help you decide:

If your meeting is the day of the flight, you wear it, if it’s the next day, you pack it.

It could be a meeting, an interview, a wedding, whatever. If it’s happening that day, you’re better off not risking the wrinkles and creases. Just make sure you don’t spill anything on it! If you decide to pack your suit, be sure to do it the right way.

http://wayfarer.lifehacker.com/the-most-compa…

Is it better to wear a suit or put it in a suitcase when traveling? | Quora

Photo by bark.

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

Traveling with a suit can be a bit of a hassle. Do you wear it on your flight or pack it? Here’s a simple rule to help you decide.

You probably don’t want to wear your suit and be uncomfortable while you travel, but there’s also a chance you can wrinkle your suit when you pack it. Jonathan Brill at Quora suggests a simple rule to help you decide:

If your meeting is the day of the flight, you wear it, if it’s the next day, you pack it.

It could be a meeting, an interview, a wedding, whatever. If it’s happening that day, you’re better off not risking the wrinkles and creases. Just make sure you don’t spill anything on it! If you decide to pack your suit, be sure to do it the right way.

http://wayfarer.lifehacker.com/the-most-compa…

Is it better to wear a suit or put it in a suitcase when traveling? | Quora

Photo by bark.

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

Traveling with a suit can be a bit of a hassle. Do you wear it on your flight or pack it? Here’s a simple rule to help you decide.

You probably don’t want to wear your suit and be uncomfortable while you travel, but there’s also a chance you can wrinkle your suit when you pack it. Jonathan Brill at Quora suggests a simple rule to help you decide:

If your meeting is the day of the flight, you wear it, if it’s the next day, you pack it.

It could be a meeting, an interview, a wedding, whatever. If it’s happening that day, you’re better off not risking the wrinkles and creases. Just make sure you don’t spill anything on it! If you decide to pack your suit, be sure to do it the right way.

http://wayfarer.lifehacker.com/the-most-compa…

Is it better to wear a suit or put it in a suitcase when traveling? | Quora

Photo by bark.

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

What to Do With a Suit When Traveling

Traveling with a suit can be a bit of a hassle. Do you wear it on your flight or pack it? Here’s a simple rule to help you decide.

You probably don’t want to wear your suit and be uncomfortable while you travel, but there’s also a chance you can wrinkle your suit when you pack it. Jonathan Brill at Quora suggests a simple rule to help you decide:

If your meeting is the day of the flight, you wear it, if it’s the next day, you pack it.

It could be a meeting, an interview, a wedding, whatever. If it’s happening that day, you’re better off not risking the wrinkles and creases. Just make sure you don’t spill anything on it! If you decide to pack your suit, be sure to do it the right way.

http://wayfarer.lifehacker.com/the-most-compa…

Is it better to wear a suit or put it in a suitcase when traveling? | Quora

Photo by bark.