We all need more meetings…with ourselves

Had you worried there for a moment didn’t I? More meetings with other people – hell no! That’s the last thing anyone needs.

Many of our clients find that meetings can be such a drain on their energy and their productivity. And in fairness, yes they are when they are not run effectively – and quite frankly most of them aren’t. And let’s face it, these days there seems to be meetings to prep for a meeting to prep for a meeting. Yikes! (See tips from last week’s Insights article on how to cut those down.)

What most people actually need to do more is meetings with themselves. Yep – most people actually have a job to do other than to sit in meetings. And if you think your to-do list will magically get done if you don’t schedule it, well, you might want to think that through a little more. In our experience, it probably won’t.

So how do you have a meeting with yourself to maximise your productivity?

  • Set a time limit – Depending on your personal pace you may schedule 30mins, 45 mins or up to 1 or even 1.5 hours if you really love focusing for long periods.
  • Have an agenda – You may want to achieve a whole task or just part of one. Be really clear and realistic about what you want to achieve during that time limit that you’ve set. Perhaps think about clarifying what the question is that you need answered by the end of that time.
  • Schedule the meeting for the time of the day that works best for you – For example, if it’s a heavy mental energy task then do it at the time that you work best on your heavy mental energy tasks. Get the time in your diary before someone else hijacks you for that time. This will help you to achieve more productivity with what will feel like less effort – a great way to manage your energy and avoid burnout.
  • Book a meeting room – Open plan offices are… how can I put this nicely?…not great for everyone. So if you have trouble focusing while others are around, book a meeting room like you would for any other meeting.
  • Just start – think it seems a little daunting to block your time out? It might be initially, but just try it with say one meeting with yourself each day. Chances are you’ll start to feel quite productive and want to do more of it.

It works for other things too…

We often encourage people do this with other activities such as exercise. A one-hour workout is only 4% of your day. And the good news is you don’t even have to work out for that long or that hard to get all the mental benefits of movement such as increased productivity and brain function, less stress and anxiety and potential mental health problems etc.

High performers know that it’s important to schedule this time in your diary so that it’s actually going to happen. Personally I’m a lunchtime exerciser. I’m really productive in the afternoon. And after a workout my productivity is completely turbo-charged. It’s an investment of time that I can’t afford not to make! I certainly can’t help others if I don’t look after my physical and mental health first.

So think about how you can start having important meetings with yourself and see how your productivity surges.

Of course if you feel like you need some help implementing something like this, please feel welcome to get in touch.


If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.