• Start on time. State your goals. Keep gatherings small.
 1. “Keep the meeting as small as possible. No more than seven people.”
2. “Ban devices.”
3. “Keep it as short as possible — no longer than an hour.”
4. “Stand-up meetings are more productive.”
5. “Make sure everyone participates and cold-call those who don’t.”
6. “Never hold a meeting just to update people.”
7. “Always set an agenda out ahead of time – and be clear about the purpose of the meeting.”
Source: Harvard Business Review

Waste Less of Your Time in Meetings with the 10-30-50-90 Method

10 minutes for check ins and quick questions.
30 minutes for status updates and one-on-ones.
50 minutes for addressing multiple issues or topics.
90 minutes for brainstorming and problem-solving.

Source: Alison Davis on


OK! I can definitely tackle this, but I’d like to review something before I proceed.

Right now my current priorities are: [list them in order].

Would you like this new assignment to be my top priority?

If so, that’s no problem, but it means that—since we’re pushing several other items down the list—all of my other projects will get completed slightly later.

“Happy to help.” End conversations with this phrase to let the other person know you’re a resource for them going forward.
“Great question, I’ll find that out for you.” Buy yourself the time to find out the right answer for someone to be seen as a reliable worker. If you want, you can add specifically what you’ll do figure out the answer.
“May I ask why that is?” You can use this question to respectfully dig deeper into a complaint or negative feedback from a coworker.
“As much as I’d love to help…” When you have to turn down a request, soften the blow by starting with this phrase and ending with the reason(s) why.

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