I hate meetings. Mostly because, at least in my experience, they get in the way of running a business. I especially hate meetings if you could have just sent me an email telling me what you needed.
When you’re running a business, time is of the essence. And, depending on the kind of business you run, meetings are more often than not a total waste of time.
With that being said, you also can’t avoid meetings altogether. But you can implement some of these tips to make sure they aren’t getting in the way of running a business.
Batch Your Meetings
I usually only take meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These are the days I’ve dedicated and planned to be on the phone quite a bit. This includes sales calls, meetings with current clients, and coaching sessions with some of my students.
The reason this works so well for me is because I already have momentum going. Additionally, if my day starts with a meeting, then that’s where my brain is. It’s easier for me to just take more meetings than it is to shift gears and do something else.
The rest of the week is dedicated to other forms of running a business. Like actual client work.
Create Meeting Objectives
Part of the reason why meetings tend to be a waste of time is because there weren’t any clear objectives set from the get-go. This leads to a whole lot of time wasted – usually on some pretty useless stuff.
The best way to combat this is to create objectives for the meeting before the meeting actually happens. This will keep you on track and help you avoid wasting time you could have used to actually run a business.
Know What Kinds of Meetings You’re Taking
When I had first quit my job to focus on my business full-time, I took whatever kinds of meetings came my way.
Wanted to pitch a product or service to me? Sure!
Wanted me to appear on your brand-spankin’ new podcast? You got it!
Wanted to just pick my brain? Sure, why not?
As you can imagine, this got pretty old. Especially with those brain picking meetings. I just become downright resentful there.
Eventually, I had to start getting clear on the kinds of meetings I was willing to take. As my business grew, my time became more valuable. And while I love the attention, the reality is that not all meetings are created equal. At least not right now.
So how do you get clear on the kinds of meetings you should take? It depends on your business objectives, but I’ll give you an example.
For the last year or so, I’ve taken a hiatus from being interviewed on other people’s podcasts. I’ll make exceptions in certain cases, but your podcast better have some crazy good numbers for me to consider it right now.
This isn’t me being rude, it’s me being selective with my time and energy. It also doesn’t mean this won’t change later. It simply means that for right now at least, these kinds of meetings don’t fit into running a business for me.
The last step for ensuring that meetings don’t waste your time is to set some boundaries.
The most obvious example I can think of is people wanting to pick your brain over coffee. Want to get rid of those, get your time back and make some money? Start telling people your consulting rates.
While some meetings are necessary for running a business, most of them probably aren’t. You have to determine which ones matter and then use some of these tips to make sure they don’t get in the way of running your business.