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No Meeting Wednesday

We recently implemented “No Meeting Wednesday” here at BOOST after piloting the program with our leadership.  First note: we HIGHLY recommend it.

Here are some thoughts/considerations on the experience.

What was the Driving Force?

I don’t know about you, but we are spending ENDLESS hours on Zoom or Teams going from meeting to meeting to meeting, call to call.  Now that we are all WFH, we are quick to get on calls.  Our schedules are no longer booked weeks in advance.  Every Monday, I personally start the week thinking its going to be a light week meeting wise.  Then by Tuesday midday, the entire week was booked.  This left no time to actually DO any work.  Or Think.  Or shake off our strategic plan for the year (uh, 2020…planning is now month to month).  I felt like all we did was spend time on meetings and that nothing felt like it was getting accomplished.  Our directors felt the same way.  2020 has turned into endless day after day of the same thing.

Our Pilot Program

After reading about No Meeting Wednesday being successful in a few large companies, I asked our Directors to try it for about 5-6 weeks.  Immediate feedback ranged from “Heck Ya, this is what I need” to “Well, what about X meeting or Y meeting and my schedule is already booked on Wednesdays”.  The skeptics took a few weeks to get on board, but by the end of our pilot, we all had done a decent job of blocking our calendars for Wednesdays.  We had 100% agreement that it worked and was something we wanted to implement throughout the entire business.

Implementation

While it’s still new to the entire organization (we just started in earnest this July), so far the feedback has been positive.  We try to post a reminder each Wed morning on our Teams page just to reinforce the message.  We have also blocked our schedules on our Outlook/Shared calendars.

Our New Reality

We still have calls on Wednesdays.  We still have meetings.  But they are meetings and calls that we individually choose to have on Wednesday.  Internally, we know that it better be important if you are going to interrupt our flow.  I personally go heads down on projects such as the corporate budget, the marketing plan, planning sessions, and even brainstorming sessions.   It has become the most valued day of the week as we can each focus on what we think our highest priorities are.  I’ve pushed myself to not just work on tactical stuff (that can wait for another day) but really focus on the thinking.  To have a higher-level perspective.  To see the forest for the trees.

While this is still very much a new thing for us, I think our company will see major benefits in many areas – productivity, creativity and FOCUS.  If only for one day a week.

Our challenge to you is as follows:

  • Choose one day per week (the SAME day each week) over the next 6-8 weeks that you consider business-sacred and demo it with your core group.
  • Set Clear Expectations in advance. No full group meetings, no non-essential client calls.
    • Reevaluate which meetings could, really, be emails and which ones need to be taken virtual face-to-virtual face.
  • Set a productivity goal to measure success.
  • Direct your leadership (and yourself) to go all-in on the experiment

 

One step further is that we want to hear from you regarding your thoughts at the end of the quarter. What worked for you? What did you change? How did it change your business? But remember, don’t call us about is on a Wednesday.

 

Tech Savvy

As busy professionals, we are constantly looking to squeeze a few extra minutes out of the day, increase our productivity, and just generally get more done. Time is our most valuable resource and no matter how wealthy you are; you can’t create or buy more of it.

Yet we are not without options. What you can do is use tools that streamline and ease the mundane. Consistency is the organized person’s friend. The more you can do to lessen the amount of time spent on the routine tasking, the more time you can spend on the strategic. This is nothing new, there are hundreds of books written on the subject and organizational experts who can help you (I’ve got a great organizer if you need one!). But what’s surprising is how often this advice isn’t heeded. When we step into a company, there is a hodgepodge of processes (or lack of processes) that are taking place. We know what is supposed to occur but more often than not the buck is passed down the line and eventually falls through the cracks. When companies employ appropriate tools to support common tasks they can move more quickly to meeting their goals.

Owners have to embrace technology and all it has to offer to optimize efficiency. Utilize the options available. There’s no excuse for using paper timesheets if you have more than 5 people. You need to have a document repository for your contracts, proposals and accounting files. Figure out what works for your company – DropboxSharePointGoogle Docs, etc. Invest in using a CRM tool from the beginning and there’s a lot less excel spreadsheet tracking (and finger pointing on updates). Understand the importance of moving to an online accounting system that will grow and scale with your organization. There are many inexpensive or even (mostly) free options that will allow you to save time and energy, allowing you to focus on what’s important – Growth.

As a CEO who does a lot more at stoplights while traveling between meetings than she’d like to admit, having the right technology at your hand is vital. If you aren’t out there as CEO growing your company, your growth will be stunted. Utilizing technology for consistency and efficiency will help you meet your goals. Just remember to balance. You own the technology, it doesn’t own you.

If you’d like to discuss further any of the tools that help to save the BOOST team precious time, let us know! www.BOOSTLLC.net.