Updated: Oct 12, 2019
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.” -Michael Altshuler
A few years ago I started having great difficulty finishing my tasks for a day's work. I was accumulating more and more overtime and my days were ending later and later.
Someone explained to me that it was probably more of an organizational problem than an overload of work. I then began to chase the waste of time in my day to day.
My first identified time consumer was meetings.
Obviously, not all meetings are waste of time, but a big part of them are too long, not concise and not productive. So I started to really pay attention to the time factor during meetings and I discovered the concept of timekeeper. A Time keeper is a role owned by a meeting participant. He is responsible to track the time elapsed from the beginning of the meeting and to warn the others when the time is running out.
From that time of chasing waste of time, I now ensure for every meeting there is a time keeper looking at the ticking clock.Most of the time we think meetings duration are undersestimated but if look closer, people loose easily the notion of time when they are debating about something. Add this to a blurry agenda and you have a very long and unproductive meeting leading to people like me (and maybe you) not able to do all the tasks they have to finish at the end of the day.
Probably the meeting was deviating on important subjects, probably this overtime is really needed to discuss these peripheric topics but then, it is better to forecast another meeting with maybe less participants and a different agenda.
Time keeping is a key in a productive meeting and with
you have all the tools to be able to track the time and adapt the discussions.