Our top time management wellbeing tips
Blog //25-10-2021

Our top time management wellbeing tips

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

Our professional services team at Advanced have put together their top tips to help you look after your wellbeing at work whilst also managing your time effectively:

  1. Default meetings to be set to 20/50 minutes
    • Outlook now offers you the option to 'end a meeting early'. Meetings are typically set to 30 mins/1 hour without much thought into how long the meeting will actually be. Having the option to shorten our meeting times allows you to have a clear, concise meeting period and prevent the build up of back-to-back meetings. We encourage you to enable this and make the most of the time management tools at your disposal. A small break between meetings allows for a quick walk, tea break or anything else a person may need to unwind mentally and prepare to go again.
  2. Update Outlook with your working hours
    • Advanced is an international business and therefore crosses not only borders but time-zones as well. As such, we’ve probably all encountered a scenario where we, or our overseas colleague, attempted to arrange a meeting at an inappropriate time. Outlook allows you to set your working hours for everyone to see. Updating these to accurately reflect when you’re at work will allow for a visible crossover of everyone's schedules and prevent working out of hours unnecessarily.
  3. Turning off notifications in Outlook
    • When trying to manage our time effectively having clearly defined tasks/structure are key to progressing through the working day as efficiently as possible. In the same way when we’re in a meeting, our focus should be on the task at hand and minimising distractions is the best way to do this. Personally I’ve found de-activating the outlook notification pop-up is best for preventing me from getting distracted from a meeting as more 'urgent' emails come through or even dropping what I’m doing as my day is being structured by the emails coming in and not vice-versa.
  4. Avoid meetings after 16:30
    • The final hour of the day is often when consultants are debriefing a customer or putting the finishing touches on their latest configuration and completing an activity report, so inviting them to a meeting at this point in the day can result in a delayed end to the day. If this regularly happens, it can really take a toll on your wellbeing. We would encourage colleagues to be mindful of this and to refer to a person’s diary, or give them a call, to identify when would be most suitable to hold the meeting.
  5. Clearly defined lunch period
    • We are all entitled to an hour’s lunch break, and whilst it is very tempting for some to just work on through, it is a vital opportunity to move away from the desk, computer, phone, etc. and take some personal time. It is important to eat something, benefit from a screen break and go for a walk. The lunch break should better prepare you for the afternoon shift, so we would encourage all colleagues to enter a recurring appointment in their diary for a lunch slot every day, so that it protects your hour break and informs others as to when you are not going to be available.
  6. Out of Office messages
    • OOO messages (as I like to call them) are often the go to feature just before we go on annual leave, but it’s not just for use with holidays. Often, we have periods of time when we need to focus, so turning off Outlook can be really beneficial, and so letting our colleagues and/or customers know that there could be a delay in responding is a great way to set expectation. Carefully consider the content of your message, is it just a case that you will reply later on, or is there someone else that can be contacted in your absence? Can you point them at the support portal or are there even some FAQs you could reference?
  7. Agendas and minutes for meetings
    • Our colleagues suggested...
      • "Take meeting notes. This will encourage focus and it will help you remember the most important parts later. Generally the chair of the meeting should not be the minute taker as well."
      • "The meeting invite should include the title of the group that is meeting; the date, time, and venue; the names of those in attendance and the person recording the minutes."
      • "Publish agenda items in advance. This will give potential attendees the option to decide if someone else can go in their place."
      • "Publish the meeting minutes shortly after the meeting."
      • "Ask for feedback from meeting attendees and update the minutes accordingly."
  8. Avoid back-to-back meetings
    • Our colleagues suggested...
      • "Seeing a detailed agenda in advance can help you decide if you need to attend."
      • "Request if the meeting can take place over Teams, if appropriate."
      • "Schedule in time to review previous meeting or preparation time for the next one."
      • "Consider asking if the meeting can be moved to a more appropriate time."
      • "Consider if all participants are necessary in the meeting."
      • "Allow time for natural comfort breaks - schedule in your calendar if necessary." 
MyWorkplace Workplace Wellbeing Blog Human Resource
Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale

PUBLISHED BY

Chief People Officer, Advanced

Alex joined Advanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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