Clients are curious about how I manage to get so much done. They often remark about my continuously growing business and ask how I “find time” to donate myself to charitable causes, have a weekly video e-zine, conduct live workshops, speak to associations and organizations, as well as carve out free time for the important people in my life.
Before you assume I have it all worked out perfectly, I have a number of unanswered emails in my mailbox; and, admittedly, every so often, a few things fall through the cracks. The reality of time is this: we all have 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 7 days in the week. What I realized from mentoring business leaders over the years is that I figured out ways to get it all done, or at least a lot of it, while building a business and enjoying life. It’s about being vigilant with how I use my time.
Over the years, there is an especially tried-and-true tip that helps my advanced students master the art of living life fully. The mastery comes with managing every single meeting. Regardless if the meeting is a prospecting meeting, a regular client call, or an internal staff conference. Agenda Management is a useful tool that works one-on-one, in groups, and online teleseminars.
Below are a few simple tips to get you started in mastering the art of Agenda Management:
1. Set a clear expectation of the meeting. To maximize the time you have together, define the purpose of the meeting, meeting objectives, topics of discussion with time frames, and who should attend.
2. Start your meetings on time. When you are punctual, it sets an expectation. It shows others that you respect their time and that you command respect over your own time.
3. Stick to your agenda like glue. If you’ve been a client, heard me on a teleseminar or saw me speak, you know that I’m observant of managing our time together. Whether you’re managing a meeting of one or many people, Agenda Management doubles your meeting productivity.
4. Ditch the marathon meetings. A meeting doesn’t have to be long to be effective. With monthly 15-minute laser coaching calls, my Success Circle Clients accomplish more in minutes than they originally thought possible. It’s because they learn the art of focused meetings. Often meetings get sidetracked with tangents and side conversations largely because expectations have not been clarified prior to the meeting. If the agenda is set and the dialogue is not moving the topic forward, simply redirect the conversation back to the objectives of the meeting or the agenda item.
5. Wrap up the meeting at least five minutes prior to the end time. When you wrap up the meeting prior to the end time, it gives you an opportunity to:
- Restate the next steps;
- Assign who is accountable for completing each action item; and
- Establish a commitment on the completion due date for each action item;
6. Evaluate the meeting. When evaluating the meeting, ask each person to define in their own words what went well and what should be done differently. If it is a sales meeting with a new prospect, then you might ask them what they are taking away from the meeting, giving you additional insights.
The reality is that if you’re not vigilant about your time, nobody else will be. You have the power, accountability, authority, and responsibility over the results you achieve and the life you want to lead. Implement these tips and you’ll find, like I did, how to live life fully.
Discover additional Agenda Management techniques based on the hardwiring of your team in the Wired to Win Program starting June 12, 2014. Register for immediate access to the online learning program and join us for the live Q&A Sessions!