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  • My week calendar becomes full in 10 minutes of activity

    I'm a sales director. My work role assumes a lot of customer meetings and internal meetings with sales. I have a lot of Next Actions to assign those meetings. I like to procrastinate on those and here's the reason why. Each meeting is usually 1 or 1.5 to 2 hours. I'm not a robot so I can do 4 meetings (internal & external) a day leaving some time for daily Processing. Now imgine it's Monday morning and I have an empty calendar for the week (that's not true though). I make 12 calls and my calendar is full. But I have plenty of 'assign a meeting' Next Actions left on my lists.

    The first question is how do you think is it OK to call a customer asking for a meeting in four or five days from today in today's hectic world? Second, how would you feel if you were asked for a meeting in a week from now? Do you think I should put away (to Someday list) the rest of Next Actions left on my list when the calendar is already full? Do you think I should schedule some comuter&office time to be able to do those tasks (sure, I have reports and other computer related stuff)?

  • #2
    Horizons of focus

    When I was reading your post, the first thing that came to my mind was: Horizons of focus.
    Perhaps you can sift through your calendar and see which meetings ar really important, and which are nice to have. The nice to have can become Someday/Maybe´s, while the important ones shall be `next meetings´.
    Important meetings are the ones which are linked to your horizons of focus.

    Next: make sure you get your meeting effectiviness to ultimate levels. Most meetings can be done within 30 minutes and are as effective as most 1-1,5 hr meetings. Think about all those people coming late, not being prepared, the fuss with laptops and beamers, etc.
    Try to focus your meeting on making decisions and setting actions. Informing can be done outside the meeting, by mail or other communication.

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    • #3
      I'm not in sales - I'm a paediatrician. If someone calls me for a meeting, unless it is desperately urgent, the next free slot I have in my diary is sometime next week. If you called me and asked for a meeting tomorrow, my reply would be "you must be joking - what would you like me to cancel?".

      Ruth

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      • #4
        keep days free in your calendar

        I'm a consultant (self employed), and I learned the hard way to keep days "free" in my calendar. For years I used to fill every moment in my calendar with appointments or (giving) trainings, of working at client locations, without taking deadlines into account. The "organizational stuff", I took care of that in the evenings and weekend...

        Since I started GTD beginning of this year, I realised I never set time aside for organizing and for NA's that I was performing @computer.

        Since this fall I am trying to keep 1 day every week free of appointments, and every one of those days get filled up with NA's. Finally, I am getting to the point where I feel I get things done, by their deadline, without having to rush every evening and every weekend. And from 2011 I even will try to keep 2 days free. Not meaning I will devote 2 days a week to my own stuff, but I notice that every now and than, my one day will be overruled by something important. So from january on, I now have two days blocked, from which I will use one day only for last minute appointments.

        You seem to have the same type of problem, where your agenda is so full, you don't have time for your own stuff.

        And no, no client will be mad at you for asking them for an appointment next week (I'm not sure if they like it)... but they won't be mad either if you ask them for one in two or three weeks!

        Myriam

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        • #5
          Focus on meetings duration!

          Originally posted by tychinin View Post
          Each meeting is usually 1 or 1.5 to 2 hours.
          Focus on meetings duration!

          I do believe that it is possible to achieve all the meeting goals in 30 minutes if nobody is late and everybody is prepared.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tychinin View Post
            The first question is how do you think is it OK to call a customer asking for a meeting in four or five days from today in today's hectic world? Second, how would you feel if you were asked for a meeting in a week from now? Do you think I should put away (to Someday list) the rest of Next Actions left on my list when the calendar is already full? Do you think I should schedule some comuter&office time to be able to do those tasks (sure, I have reports and other computer related stuff)?
            I'm in the legal business, and it's normal for us to have meetings scheduled several months in advance, so if I were in a similar situation I would schedule all those meetings as far ahead as necessary. I regularly schedule meetings with our third-party providers a month or two out, so while I'm not in sales, I know when people are selling to me I don't expect them to be free in the next week, or even two or three. If they were free in less than four days, I might think they were over-keen and even wonder if they don't have very many other customers.

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