Could this meeting have been an email? The phenomenon of “calendar creep,” where meetings completely take over your work days, is wasting time, energy and productivity — but you can take back control. Leadership expert Cindy Solomon shares her five tips for clearing up your schedule and getting your calendar to work for you, not against you.

この会議は電子メールであった可能性がありますか? 会議が勤務日を完全に占領する「カレンダークリープ」現象は、時間、エネルギー、生産性を無駄にしていますが、コントロールを取り戻すことはできます。

リーダーシップの専門家であるシンディ・ソロモンが、スケジュールを整理し、カレンダーを自分に不利にではなく有利に機能させるための 5 つのヒントを紹介します。

タイトル 5 tips for dealing with meeting overload
会議過多に対処するための 5 つのヒント
スピーカー シンディ・ソロモン
アップロード 2021/10/12

「会議過多に対処するための 5 つのヒント(5 tips for dealing with meeting overload)」の文字起こし

Have you ever reached the end of what feels like a grueling workday only to realize you didn’t actually accomplish anything? That it was just meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting — [The Way We Work] (Music)

As a recovering corporate executive, I know we all feel like our time isn’t our own, like other people are controlling our calendars and we’re simply reacting to their whims. But calendar creep isn’t inevitable. There’s so much in the world we can’t control. We can’t control our senior leaders, we can’t control our customer demands, and we certainly can’t control a global pandemic. But we can actually control our time, we’ve just forgotten how to do it.

I’ve come up with five, easy-to-implement steps that can take your calendar from working against you to working for you. And they really work. We worked with a big global company and asked some of their leaders to put these tips into practice while others didn’t. And guess what? The leaders who used these steps saw significant hours open up on their calendars for, you know, actual work.

Tip number one: Ask yourself, “Do you really need the meeting?” We’re under the illusion that we need a meeting for everything. We think “I need to make sure so-and-so is OK with this so I’ll book time.” Or “I’ve got a quick question on process, I’ll grab a meeting.” The reality is for almost half of the meetings we schedule, we could simply pick up the phone or shoot a text for a quick answer. A trick to stop this: when you’re thinking of calling a meeting, write the invitation first. And if you can’t start with a subject line with an action verb, you shouldn’t have the meeting. “Decide, finalize, create next steps.” Those are reasons to call a meeting. “Review,” on the other hand, isn’t an action verb. If you’re calling a meeting to review something, send it out ahead of time and schedule a 15-minute meeting for questions. That should get Joe to finally read the deck. Related to that action verb, if you’re going to call a meeting you should be able to create a clear purpose statement. “In this meeting we’re going to decide boom, boom, boom. Come prepared.” You don’t need a whole agenda; nobody’s going to read it anyway. But that purpose statement is enough so that when you start, everybody is sitting up, paying attention and focused on the goal.

Tip number two: invite the least number of people possible. Let’s be honest, most of us invite people to meetings defensively. We know that Raco’s the one we need but if Dion doesn’t feel like he’s involved, he’s going to be cranky, so you invite him and then Shannon and then Jane. And now we’re wasting all of these people’s time instead of just going directly to the decision maker. It’s time to let go of those grade-school fears and just invite the people who are necessary for the objective. Everyone else can be informed later. Let’s also agree it’s OK if we’re not invited to everything. Research has found that the optimal size of a decision-making meeting is around five to eight people. Any time you’re inviting more, you’re making it less likely you’ll achieve your goal.

Tip number three: make your meetings shorter. If you want your time back, ditch the hour-long meeting. I schedule 30- and 45-minute meetings. That’s it, period. Full stop.

That gives people time to digest, figure out next steps, then take a breath and maybe, I don’t know, go to the bathroom. It stops that horrible snowball of lateness that rolls downhill over the course of a day.

Tip number four: say no to other’s people’s meetings. We’re in the habit of saying yes to every meeting we’re invited to. Often we show up out of fear of missing out, or worse yet, ego. Neither of those is a reason to spend your precious time in a meeting. A better way to decide: Ask yourself, “Is my opinion absolutely vital to the purpose of this meeting?” Even better, “Does this meeting move my goals, my team’s goals or my customers’ goals forward?” If not, just say no. Now I know what you’re thinking: it’s hard to say no to a meeting. But it really isn’t. Simply tell the organizer the truth. You know that they’ve got this, and if they need you, simply give you a ring. You can also use the opportunity to delegate the meeting to a high performer or subject matter expert who may be a better choice anyway. You can even simply let them know you have other priorities that week and ask if your attendance is necessary. All you need to do is communicate with honesty and clarity.

Tip number five: be ruthless with your time. As any flight attendant will tell you, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first. It’s the only way you can be at your best for others, so give yourself time to do the things you need to in order to feel like a human being. That includes scheduling blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on your own work. If you have a project that going to take you 10 hours of really focused time and effort, schedule that time in your calendar. Try putting in “no-fly zones” two hours a day, a few days a week, at whatever time you’re at your most productive. You don’t have to make these changes in a vacuum, like it’s some kind of secret. You can tell people that you’re trying something new and taking control of your calendar. And you do not have to do everything at once. Simply pick one idea and try it. People will not only understand it, but they’ll appreciate it.

So the only question left is: Do you have the courage to own your own calendar? I think you do.

「会議過多に対処するための 5 つのヒント(5 tips for dealing with meeting overload)」の和訳



ヒント1:自分自身に問いかけてみてください。「本当にその会議が必要ですか?」私たちはすべてのことに会議が必要だという幻想にとらわれています。 「このことについて、あの人が大丈夫か確認しなければならないので、時間を取ります」とか「プロセスについてちょっとした質問があるので、会議を組みます」と考えます。実際には、私たちが予定する会議のほぼ半分は、簡単な答えを求めて電話をかけたり、テキストを送ったりすれば良いだけです。これを止めるためのトリック:会議を開くことを考えているときは、まず招待状を書いてください。そして、アクション動詞が主題行に含まれていない場合、会議を開く必要はありません。「決定する、最終決定する、次のステップを作成する」。これらは会議を開く理由です。一方、「レビュー」はアクション動詞ではありません。何かをレビューするために会議を開くのであれば、事前に送信して、質問のための15分の会議を予定してください。それで、ジョーがデッキを読むようになるでしょう。また、そのアクション動詞に関連して、会議を開く場合は明確な目的声明を作成できるはずです。「この会議では、これ、これ、これを決定します。準備して来てください。」アジェンダ全体は必要ありません。誰もそれを読まないでしょう。しかし、その目的声明は、開始するときに、みんなが座り、注意を払い、目標に集中できるように十分なものです。