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Meetings, Priorities, and Not Enough Time in the Day

At SpringHill we’re in what we call the “Spring Snarl”. This snarl typically starts around the first of March and goes through the first week of summer camp. It’s our busiest, craziest, most stressful time of the year. Too many meetings, too much to do and not enough time for it all.
Below is a note I sent to my Leadership Team addressing this moment, and how we can not only survive the Spring Snarl, but grow through it and ultimately slay it. I share it with you, with hopes you may find something useful to help you and your team’s snarls.

I know that there’s been some discussion about the amount of meetings we’re having and that so many meetings can keep us from working on our priorities. A few thoughts:

1. Make sure our meetings are productive – moving us forward on key priorities. That we take good notes, have clear action plans when the meetings finished, make decisions and don’t kick them down the road, and know what needs to be communicated to who as a result of the meeting.

2. Have the right people participate in the meetings. If someone just needs to be “in the know”, send them the notes. Also, be willing to ask, do I need to be in this meeting? What’s the downside if I’m not? Am I invited out of courtesy or because I’m really needed?

3. Error on the side of scheduling a meeting for less time than you would normally schedule it for – 30 minutes instead of an hour. Try to get work done faster. Create a sense of urgency for the meeting. You’ll be surprised how little time you actually need.

4. Be clear on the purpose of the meeting – is it a status meeting like a daily huddle or scrum huddle? Make it 15 minutes. A working meeting? Be clear of the goals for the meeting and then acheive them. A planning meeting? Have a clear process to map out a plan.

5. Finally, read this article, it has some great ideas about how to get work down when you’re in meetings. Very practical and helpful ideas.

https://hbr.org/2019/03/how-to-get-your-to-do-list-done-when-youre-always-in-meetings?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=mtod_activesubs&utm_content=signinnudge&referral=00203&deliveryName=DM32154

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