1. Keep meetings and phone calls short and sweet
Meetins and phone calls take up a lot of precious time, which could be better spent on other important tasks. So, in order to make the most of every available moment when planning an event, set a fixed time limit: 30 to 60 minutes, tops. For less complicated issues, 15 to 20 minutes should also be enough, as long as you get straight to the point.
2. Stay on topic
Once you’ve curtailed meetings and phone calls, and set fixed time limits for them, it’s also important to set the agenda. That way you avoid all unnecessary discussions and you won’t be distracted by different issues. Having a productive exchange and reaching a decision will be a lot quicker.
3. Preparation and follow-up
When you know exactly when your next meeting is, it makes sense – and it is most efficient – to do your homework and to make sure all participants are on the same page. So send all interested parties all the important information beforehand. Ask them to think of potential questions and to prepare for the exchange of ideas. That way you ensure that your meeting will go smoothly. And just to make sure that everyone has a clear overview of what there is to do and the decisions that were made, it’s also important to take minutes during the discussion and make sure to send your notes to everyone afterwards.
Punctuality plays a crucial role; when time is short, it’s especially important not to waste your time or anyone else’s by simply waiting around for no good reason. So be punctual! It will let you focus on what’s important. You should also avoid cancelling appointments at the last minute, or putting them off. That doesn’t make a good impression, and it can mess up the whole schedule of both parties.
5. Write fewer e-mails
You can save loads of time by cutting down on the number of e-mails you write, or by writing only the absolutely necessary ones, and instead reaching for the phone – that way you avoid unnecessary exchanges and can get straight to the point. Remember that the more e-mails you write, the more e-mails you’ll get back.
In order to have an overview of everything there is to do for your event, the first thing you need to do is make a list and write it all down. Then you can arrange items by priority and complexity. The tasks that require little time should be tackled immediately, or as soon as possible. Use the Eisenhower method:
2 Important + Not urgent: Work on it a little bit every day
3 Not important + Urgent: Delegate to somebody else
4 Not important + Not urgent : Get rid of these tasks ASAP