#19 build a better meeting (alone)

after last week’s build a better meeting (one-on-one) blog, matt guevara tweeted me saying that he had read several articles about scheduling a regular time to meet with yourself. i wanted to hear more about this idea, and and since the build a better meeting series is a collaborative project, i asked matt if he would share his thoughts in a blog.

enjoy matt’s notes:

four years ago i realized that i was so busy with life and ministry that when i had opportunities to focus on a project for any period of time, the thing that kept distracting me was the work i was NOT getting done.  has that ever happened to you?  thinking only about the projects you are not attending to absolutely erodes any sense of accomplishment in the things you are trying to get done.  those feelings led me to the book getting things doneby david allen. it was there i learned some best practices for organizing work and creating a system for collecting action steps for projects.  one of the best things i learned from the book was to set up a meeting with myself every week.  as Kelly Forrister writes on her GTD blog, “if you don’t have a systematic and thorough approach to reviewing your work, you’ll never break free from the busy trap of thinking you need to be thinking and worrying about your work all the time.”

so often leaders think of meetings in a tightly defined box.  meetings must require a group of people.  meetings require those people to sit down.  meetings require a leader and a group of listeners.  the more i experimented with the best practices of getting things done (or GTD to its avid followers), I realized that my definition of a meeting needed to expand.  i learned that it was okay to set a time on my calendar to meet with myself for specific purposes.  here are the things i put into place to make this meeting happen and what i use the time to accomplish (adapted from an article by kelly forrister):

i set a time on my calendar (typically 50 minutes) every week to reflect on a complete, current, and consistent inventory of my commitments.  this includes projects i am invested in, upcoming ministry events or speaking opportunities, family related events, and personal items. i hold the meeting in an uninterrupted space. i resist the temptation to stop the meeting and attend to some of the action steps that i uncover (unless they take less than two-minutes). i reward myself for getting through the meeting.

here’s another perspective on what you can accomplish with a weekly meeting with yourself (taken from a review of getting things done by josh kaufman):

  • Process and organize – anything you’ve collected but haven’t handled yet.
  • Review your active tasks – are there any to add, delegate, defer, or delete?
  • Review your active projects – are there any to add, delegate, defer, or delete?
  • Review your calendar – are there any meetings to add, delegate, defer, or delete?
  • Someday/Maybe – anything to add or promote to an active project?
  • Reference Files – anything you need soon? Anything to add or update?
  • Goals – are you moving in the right direction? Are you making progress? Are any changes necessary?

i know, it’s monday.  set a meeting with yourself right now for the end of this week.  you’ll find that this review time will set up your weekend nicely and provide a great foundation for you to get stuff done next week.

matt guevara blogs at the cory center and is always tweeting about children’s and family ministry.  he’d love to meet you (when he is not meeting with himself)!

2 responses to this post.

  1. LOVE this post! Printed it out to post at my desk as a reminder of how important it is to schedule that time with myself-as important as other meetings I schedule throughout my week! Thanks Amy for this incredible series and thanks Matt for sharing this post! You both rock!


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