5 Tips for Using Your Time Wisely
By Holly Herman
1. Be completely present at every meeting–one on one and in a group. Any time I attend a meeting or speak to someone individually I make it a point to be completely present at the meeting or with the person. This means that I turn off my cell phone, don’t check email, don’t look at my watch, and put away all distractions. I give the person and meeting my full and undivided attention. You might be thinking: How does this save time?
Here’s what I’ve found–through many years of experimentation and practice. When giving someone my full attention I pay much closer attention to what is being said. I can quickly steer the speaker to get to the point or summarize what is being said, thereby moving the conversation along. Another by-product of being fully present, and by using some active listening skills–nodding, agreeing, saying “I see” or “I understand”–I’ve discovered that the speaker will get to the point and not repeat themselves. The speaker feels “heard” and moves on. A little tip: If someone is repeating themselves a lot, they may not feel heard by you. That’s why they keep repeating themselves.
I’ve also found this technique strengthens relationships among co-workers. People feel respected when you give them your full attention.