I got a great lesson in how to stop other people wasting your time yesterday. Its one thing to be efficient, and dilligent in your productivity efforts, but when you start adding other people to the equation you can quickly get bogged down in tedious, unproductive tasks, conversations and meetings.
I got a chance to talk to Merlin Mann from 43Folders, and before we’d even spoken he’d politely asked if i’d like to bullet point what we needed to get done in our discussion, and asked me if 15mins would be sufficient.
As a result of sticking to a time frame, and having a defined structure to the call, we got what we needed to do done in time, and managed to chat about his odd way of scheduling calls in the process. In fact, he posted about better meetings later that day, and its well worth a read.
The act of deciding what had to be accomplished in the call, followed by agreeing how long it would take made for a very productive meeting, and I learnt a lot about getting other people to be productive when it would affect me in the process.
From now on, im going to adopt the same strategy, as i can’t stand rambling, going nowhere conversations when im busy 🙂
If only we could do that for IM heh….
By the way, the other thing I learnt was that though I consider myself a fast thinker, there is always someone faster — The only reason I dont suspect young Merlin had amphetimines for breakfast is that he actually managed to talk a lot of sense, even at 90mph heh!