Better Scheduling Means Better Work

Power Productivity Video Series: Video 2 – Better Scheduling Means Better Work


Most people know what to do and they want to do it.  Then something happens and external forces put pressure upon us.  When that happens, bedlam ensues.  Your schedule gets co-opted and someone else controls your productivity.

This video will help you discover how to take back control of your work agenda.

Below are the links to the other videos in the Power Productivity Video Series:

Video 1: Tame the Ringing Telephone

Video 3: Defeat Email Overload

Video 4: Kill Off Drop-By Meetings

Video 5: The Secret of the Action Log


This is Dave Lorenzo and I’m the Chairman and Founder of Valtimax Consulting and this is the second video in our Productivity Series and today we’re going to talk about scheduled appointment times.

One of the biggest mistakes I see professionals and business leaders making each and every single day is that they have unscheduled appointments on their calendar. What I mean by unscheduled appointments is they have a start time but they don’t have an end time. When you schedule an appointment with someone whether they’re a client or whether it’s someone with whom you’re working or even if it’s patient appointments and you’re a doctor in a medical office, you should have start times and end times for each of those appointments.

The reason for a start time and an end time is twofold. Number one, it sends a psychological message to yourself that you have a start time and an end time and it forces you to be very concise and focused and stick to the agenda. It forces you to be very concise and focused and handle the issues in front of you and do them in an efficient and effective way.

The second reason for a start time and an end time is let the person with whom you’re meeting know that there is an end time to this appointment. We’re not here to ramble on. We have a structured appointment set up and there’s a start time and an end time and you’re respectful of that not only for your own sake but for the sake of the people with whom you’re meeting.

So, all of your meetings should have a start time and an end time and you should adhere to them. Now the question comes up. What happens if we get to the end time and we’re not finished with the items that we had to cover? Well, each meeting should have no more than three bullet point agenda items on which you are going to conduct a meeting. These are the items you’re going to talk about in the meeting. Every meeting should be no longer than 50 minutes. So you cover these three things in a maximum of 50 minutes. If you have more items than that, quite frankly you’re going to need to break these meetings up into multiple meetings.

Now, you’re asking me how I came up with a 50-minute meeting. Well I’m going to tell you that the average human’s attention span is eight minutes. So if we’re thinking about an appropriate time for a meeting especially if there’s travel involved or if you have to coordinate multiple people’s schedules, we’re going to want a significant amount of time to get at least these three agenda items covered. So 50 minutes should be enough for that to cover those three agenda items.

Now why do we pick only three agenda items? Because anything more than three will allow too much information to expand into the timeframe allotted. So three agenda items in 50 minutes. There is no real rhyme or reason for the number three but it’s a great place to start. So cover three agenda items in a 50-minute meeting. If you can cover it in less than 50 minutes, even better.

Adhere to these scheduling tips and you will be very happy you did. So your meetings will be far more productive and you will be able to get more done in less time. My name is Dave Lorenzo and the name of our company is Valtimax Consulting and until next time, I hope you make a great living and live a great life®.