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How to get a handle on business systems and meetings

Systems and meetings are designed to save you time, that is, unless you’re doing it wrong, in which case they become huge time-wasters. Get a handle on making the most of your business systems and meetings with these tips.

Today is a big day. It marks 10 weeks since we started this journey of discovering the top 10 business time wasters. How quickly time flies! I hope that this series has been useful, and that lots of bad old habits have been replaced with lovely, shiny new ones.

But before we can put this to bed completely, we must of course find out the final two. And so without further ado:

Problem 9: Poor use of systems

Systems are what make the world go round. They are useful, practical tools that should make our jobs far easier. So what happens when you either:

  1. Don’t have a system;
  2. Don’t use the system you have available to you to its full potential; or
  3. Don’t use the system you have available to you at all?

Your world stops going round.

Solution?

This one is easy. There’s no point in having a fabulous system at your fingertips and not know how to use it. Here’s how we fix the above problems:

  1. No fancy system? Can’t afford to buy one? There is no reason why you can’t make one up yourself. There’s no denying that this is time consuming, but it works. Everything that you do should be a systematic habit, so when you perform these habits, write down every step and create an office manual for yourself. In the absence of a ‘real’ system, this is its perfect replacement and every office should have one.
  2. Don’t know how to use your system? Then ask someone who does to give you a run through so you can better understand it. It might take you a little time now, but it will save you a lot more time in the future.
  3. Don’t use the system at all? What a terrible waste of money and resources. Again, set aside a little time to have someone go through it with you. What seems like a waste of time now will be a life saver in the end.

Problem 10: Meetings

They say that a meeting is a practical alternative to work, but how many meetings have you been to that have run over time? How many times have you hung around for an extra coffee to catch up on the gossip? How often to your meetings deviate off course?

My guess is, a lot.

Solution?

Did you know that 1/3 of time spent at meetings is wasted? Over time, this equates to 6 weeks of a person’s life. So stop chit-chatting, don’t stay for the extra coffee or gossip – just get moving.

The number one tip I can give for making sure that your meeting stays on track is to always have an agenda and someone to keep notes of what needs to be marked as an action item, so that all parties can be kept accountable.

And it’s on this final note that for the last time in this article series, I wish you luck!