Day-before-meeting checklist

This idea began to percolate for me one day as I was sprinting down a cobblestone sidewalk in stocking feet, high heels clutched in one hand…the whole time, I was thinking: “I thought by the time I got to my age I’d never be doing this again.”

I suggested this idea in an earlier issue of FGB, and it works: Set a recurring appointment for yourself at the end of every day to review your schedule for the next day and adjust meetings. When I didn’t do this, I was doubly embarrassed because I’d just recommend you-all do it! (“Queen of time management,” I could be heard muttering under my breath.)

However, I did “keep my appointment” with myself several days, and it made the week much more productive. I even thought of a few more things to check. It worked so well that I’m re-running this tip here: Set a recurring daily meeting for yourself in Outlook near the end of your workday, set your time to show as “Free” for that meeting (unless you really want not to be available), and copy-paste the following as your meeting agenda.

For each meeting I’m leading:

  • Who do I really NEED at this meeting?
  • Did they accept? If not, do I need to reschedule the meeting?
  • Do I need to change the location or add a call-in number?
  • Do I know where my presentation is?
  • Did I circulate an agenda ahead of time?
  • Did I give the meeting attendees enough time to review needed material? (If not, should I reschedule the meeting?)

For each meeting I’m invited to:

  • Do I need to troubleshoot my schedule by cancelling conflicting meetings?
  • If I’ve recorded my response as “tentative,” can I change it to Accept or Decline to give the meeting leader better information?
  • Do I need to alert the meeting’s leader to special circumstances (late arrival, etc.?)
  • Where should I be for this meeting? Do I need to block out travel time to get there?

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