How to get more done at work

As a speaker, trainer, and educator in Microsoft Office programs my clients regularly ask how to get more done at work. Whilst I can’t magically produce extra hours in a day, this simple tip, depending on how many meetings you have each week, could easily save you an hour or more!

Change the length of your meetings.

Sounds simple and it can be…here’s why.

Meetings have generally been set at a default 60 minutes long.
Parkinson’s Law states that the amount of work expands to fill the available time. So, if a face-to-face meeting is scheduled for 60 minutes, generally it takes 60 minutes, that’s of course without considering additional time lost travelling to and from an in person meeting.

With the arrival and acceptance of virtual meetings, in many instances the default is still 60 minutes. Changing meeting times from 60 to 45 minutes offers several productivity benefits.

  1. A 45-minute meeting provides a framework of expectation and a goal to work towards. That the meeting will be focused and conclude at 45 minutes.
  2. A 45-minute meeting also offers a 15 minute window to close off any notes or document action items before moving onto the next meeting or task, or
  3. In the event there is nothing to document, you now have an extra 15 minutes available to get on with another task!

So what’s the next step?  Whilst you might not be able to control the length of ALL your meetings, change those you can to 45 minutes and where possible suggest this length to other meeting organizers, or if all items in the meeting are covered, suggest the meeting is closed.  I often say to people, I don’t know about you but I could certainly do with the extra time to catch up on a few things.

Whilst this may seem like a common sense, simple change to make, they aren’t always easy. If you want more help getting productive with Microsoft Office programs, download my FREE 5 Microsoft Excel tips eBook at and really commit to making today the start of your most productive year EVER!

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