Desperate to be more productive? Stop using these 7 words

 In Time Management

It’s no secret that we all spend an inordinate amount of time in meetings—daily, weekly, monthly; work meetings, staff meetings, presentations, conference calls, webinars, check-ins, demo calls, client meetings, board meetings, committee meetings; not to mention conferences, workshops, networking events, Mastermind meetings or continuing education classes. Our lives are a meeting!

Here is one profound time management strategy that I suggest you implement immediately. Are you ready? The strategy is to stop using this sentence in meetings:

CAN I GET A COPY OF THAT?

That’s right—stop asking the presenter or your co-worker or colleague for a copy unless you absolutely, 100% need it and must have it to accomplish the task you have in mind.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. You are not going to use it! It is just going to end up as one more thing in your already overstuffed in-box. You do not need it. Only 1% of the people reading this will use the information they requested during meetings! Countless hours are wasted in this common-but-wasteful exchange.
  2. Requesting it and then not using it will make you feel bad. When you see the presentation in your in-box it will only add to your feeling of overwhelm. Spare yourself and don’t ask for it. If it arrives anyway, delete it.
  3. You will become more present at meetings. If you know that the content of the meeting is all you will be getting and that you will not receive a copy of the material or presentation (which you would never read anyway) after the meeting, you will pay more attention. You can bask in the glory that you do not need to add another PowerPoint presentation, jump drive or handout to your already cluttered office and just pay attention during the meeting.

The habit of all of us clamoring for a copy of EVERYTHING that captures even our lowest level of interest seems like a form of efficiency and responsibility, but most of the time it is simply a compulsion and it inadvertently wastes time.

Try it for a month and decide for yourself, or try it as a team and see what happens.

“Self-liberation is the greatest victory.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita

 

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