Ensuring Productive Appointments by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

By meggin@meggin.com
In General
Nov 21st, 2013

One of the best aspects of appointments is that we can prepare for them. This week’s Top Ten Productivity Tips will help you do the prep work ahead of time that will allow your appointments to be effective, efficient, and productive for you and those with whom you are meeting.

  1. Call and/or email prior to the appointment to confirm. It takes a couple of minutes and may save you a couple of hours or more if the other person had forgotten or needs to reschedule.
  2. Arrive and/or be ready on time (and this means planning to arrive early if you are traveling to an appointment).
  3. Expect that you will have to wait, so have something to work on or to read. It’s one reason to always have your planner with you–you can keep information in there to work on &/or read.
  4. Determine your questions, issues, or goals for the appointment. Write them down.
  5. Find out how much time the other person has. If this hasn’t been established ahead of time, find out right at the beginning of the appointment.
  6. Determine how much time you have. Make that clear to the other person, too.
  7. Agree on an agenda ahead of time (or at the beginning of the appointment). People think of agendas for meetings, but an appointment with one other person is also a meeting. Have an agenda.
  8. Meet where there are no (or limited) distractions (e.g., phone, email, drop-ins).
  9. Set up the environment for productivity (close door, ask that phones be turned off).
  10. Have the tools you need to be productive (your planner, some place to take notes, a timer so you don’t have to keep checking your watch).

Well-planned and productively-used appointments make tremendous sense for you and for your colleagues. Put one or more of these ideas into practice this week…maybe even within the next hour. Share these ideas with your colleagues, too. You (and they) will appreciate it! It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

And for strategies to help put pockets of time into your writing, check out Putting Pockets in Your Professional Life: 52 Tips to Implement Immediately. This booklet is for professionals who are frequently rushing from meeting to meeting, promising and then not delivering, or wondering if they will ever “catch up.” In this booklet, readers will find tools to support them in our often-crazy world so that they can live their professional lives more peacefully and productively.