Potential Strategies for Getting Back your Time

Now that everyone is thinking of the variety of ways time is lost in the office, the following is a list of potential remedies that may help avoid losing your precious time in the first place.

Encourage staff to block off time for important tasks, especially “maker work”

It’s important to reach an understanding with your co-workers about the consequences interruptions have for maker work and reach an agreement to find a better way to handle meetings. Many people may not be aware of the potential from lost productivity for poorly scheduled meetings and interruptions.

On shared calendars, be specific about what you are working on during your “maker time.” If colleagues can appreciate the task is critical and time sensitive, they’re more likely to respect your calendar.

Don’t overuse the strategy. If large sections of your calendar are consistently blocked off, colleagues may stop taking it seriously.

Promote a “No Meetings” Day or portion of a day with no meetings

Finance offices need to look for ways to accommodate the maker’s schedule by creating large blocks of time with no meetings. For example, some organizations have designated certain days of the week (or half-days) as meeting-free zones.

Depending on your team’s/organization’s work cadence, a no meetings half or full day could occur weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly.

GFOA encourages you to try different combinations of duration and frequency to find what fits best for your team/organization.

Encourage Staff to Speak Up When a Meeting Isn’t Relevant to Them

Teach staff how to graciously decline meetings that aren’t necessary for them, thus freeing up their time to be more productive. A meeting may not be necessary for a number of reasons.

The first place to start in determining this is by looking at the agenda. If no agenda is provided, feel free to ask for one to figure out if your attendance will be required for all or part of the meeting.