One of the biggest time wasting factors in many of our days is when the team ask if you’ve got a minute. How can you save time, yet not upset your team members, and stay true to the aim you have for yourself?

Time wasting, measured by the minute on this stop watch, have you got a minute?

But you LIKE being needed?

Yes, you read that right. I bet you want to be needed, it makes you feel good and you’ve promised yourself that you would always be accessible to your team (that would make you fairly normal by the way)

One Accountant recently told me how many short meetings he was being dragged into and how it was ruining his productivity. He resisted every attempt to solve the problem, till I asked him “how is that serving you?”. After all, if it wasn’t doing anything for him, he would have stopped!

He thought about it, then sheepishly admitted that he likes being the centre of attention, but now realised it was what was preventing him from getting what he wants from his growing firm.

Often the reason we don’t change something, is because there are elements of it we crave.

Identifying that is the first step to changing it, perhaps you could get your fix another (and in this case more efficient way).

Your time wasting “got a minute” meetings

So you don’t have enough time in your day, and yet can can’t see anywhere where you are time wasting? But, you often have someone in the office asking, “Have you just got a minute”, or “can I run this by you?”.

It may seem critical question to the person asking for your time, but these “got a minute” meetings tend to be very unproductive, and in saying yes – you are training your team to ask for more of them!

When was one of them ever just a minute? Quick discussions that were supposed to take a minute end up taking a whole lot more time. That’s before you allow for the act that each time you’re disturbed it takes time to get back into what you were doing.

Reduce or remove “got a minute” meetings

Have a series of team meetings that occur like clockwork. They are mandatory for all; they occur regularly and always end on time. These team meetings should follow a fixed agenda, click here for some more ideas. These prevent time wasting as you and your team deal with them in a consistent manner (and let’s be honest, 9 times out of 10 they fix the problem themselves given time to think about it).

Save up those questions, note them down (get your team to do the same), and get ready to discuss them in the weekly meeting. Download our team meeting guide for more effective meetings, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

If nothing else – STAND UP

The other thought is to always ensure that the only team meetings where you sit down are the ones that are planned to take time.

For a five minute “huddle” each day, or for the odd “got a minute” meetings that remain are always held standing up. One client recently did this and found that such meetings took half as long, nobody was sitting down, getting comfortable, establishing territory and then meeting….

Download our team meeting guide for more effective meetings, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

Photo used under creative commons licence. For more information, click here.

How have you got your team to think more for themselves, and saved yourself time?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access