A few months ago we started an experiment. While we block meetings on our calendars for an hour or so, we started our meetings with this question:
How far can we get in ten minutes?
Here’s what we learned: we can get pretty far.
I bought everybody a series of sand timers to take to their meetings. Now when we’re in a meeting and tempted to schedule a future meeting to talk about something we ask, “how far could we get in the next ten minutes?”
When leading meetings
End meetings when you’re finished (rather than when the calendar says you’re done).
We tend to fill the amount of time we have. And yet, more time doesn’t always lead to a better decision.
Often we arrive in the same place after 5 minutes than we would after 50. We’re much better off pausing and returning to the question later than trying to circle it (in the same room with the same people) for the next 45 minutes.
When scheduling meetings
Try to solve it now, rather than scheduling it for later.
Take the time that you would have spent trying to find a time to meet, and start solving the problem. You’re brain have fresher perspective on the problem, and you’ll be motivated to get moving.