Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 78 – It’s Time For Your Calendar Audit

Dear Leaders, this week’s newsletter is here to save some of your sanity and time. 

Do you look at your calendar with pure dread? 

I bet you have signed off or left a meeting and think – this was a massive waste of time? 

There are two options you have:
(1) Take that your time is taken from you 😞
(2) Actually take action and do something about it 💪

An important step many executives do not take is actually reviewing and scoring meetings. 

Busy is not a badge of honour and should never be an excuse.

Many leave meetings with a sour taste in their mouth, often mentally noting that a colleague or two are good or bad (or worse need to leave the business) and then having to recover from MRS (meeting recovery syndrome). 

There is an action (much more than a hack) to help save your sanity and review your calendar to make a real difference. 

This will take an hour’s work to save ten’s of hours in the coming weeks and months. 

A Calendar Audit 📅

  1. Review your calendar: look back over the last six weeks  
  2. Colour code the meetings into group meetings, recurring meetings and one to one’s 
  3. Create a meeting scoring system. 1-10 (10 being great, 1 being worst) – the maths is an important dimension here 
  4. Flag and review any recurring meetings first.
    Score these meetings, use: 
    (1) effectiveness for work, (2) time efficiencies and (3) participation levels as success factors.
  5. Review group meetings and project meetings, please then score accordingly 
  6. Review 1:2:1’s particularly on how successful you were either as the leader or the participant
  7. Fire up Excel or Google sheets and score the meetings in groups, you will see many patterns. 
    There is a common theme here, important notes and keep scores
  8. Review your notes from these meetings and really be self-critical and critical of meetings and drive change. Always provide feedback and look to reduce meetings. 
  9. Understand if you need to keep meetings, cure meetings or kill meetings.
    You should not only edit and audit your time but provide people’s time back. This is a huge gift!
  10. Feedback the information, kill or cure meetings and reorganise the time and save the energy of your colleagues. 

You will be surprised by the benefit to performance and the positive impact on company culture this will have. 

Remember The Focus Rules For Meetings: 

  1. Always call out why this meeting should not have been an email 
  2. Set an agenda 
  3. Explain why each meeting attendee was invited and how they can add value 
  4. At the beginning of the meeting remind what the objective of the meeting is and what success looks like 
  5. Have a chairperson taking notes and keeping you to agree on timeframe 
  6. Have the chairperson call out what the notes were, what the decisions were and what the follow-up actions are and by when 
  7. Always provide time for meeting feedback and if the meeting is able to finish early, enable everyone to have their time back 

Good luck rolling this framework out, it will take a couple of attempts to really hit your stride, in the near future you will be able to have open and honest conversations and save many hours of wasted time and negative time use. 

Have a great week,

Danny Denhard 

Two Other Proven Methods

Here is the hybrid guide to remote meetings chapter that will drive improvements to your meetings and your business. 

Look to roll out the NDA meeting framework for taking notes, logging decisions and the actions you and the team need to take.