Thursday, 18 June 2009

When You’ve Got A Meeting, Get A Head-Start

When you’ve got a manic day full of meetings, try starting the meeting 10 minutes before you get there…

I don’t mean have the meeting without the other person there, just THINK about the meeting before you arrive.

Whilst I’m a great fan of thinking on your feet, when you’re gear-shifting from one meeting to another, from one completely different project or discipline to another, it can get mentally taxing getting in gear, in time. I still see people at meetings get put on the spot being asked what they think and they’re still worrying about the actions from the last one or what they’re having for dinner, they’re not there yet.

How can you better cope with that challenge? Think about what the meeting is about, what you have to contribute and what you need to get out of it before you arrive (that may seem a bit bloody obvious but when we’re busy, we forget what’s obvious). For most of us, arriving at one meeting from the last, all we’ve done is check our emails in the back of a cab with no time to mentally prepare for what’s next.

If you take just ten minutes to get mentally engrossed before you arrive, living and breathing the project/team/client, you’ll arrive hitting the ground running.

If not, it can take a while to get going. So use your commute across the office, in the lift, on the tube or in the coffee shop before to scribble – literally or mentally – your bullet points for the next meeting.

Try it, it works.

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