We all get the same 1,440 minutes each day. No exceptions.

In that aspect, we’re all exactly the same. Zero differences.

The real difference is in how we get to spend these precious minutes. Specific amounts are beyond our immediate control: where we work, how we get to and from, and what we do while there. 

Forced Meetings, working groups, brainstorming sessions, status updates, and more consume our lives.

Often we don’t feel we have a choice in how we spend our time, but that’s a position taken out of apathy and laziness.

It’s an excuse.

Too many people tell me they have no time to do anything (that they want to do). These same people spend hours a day on social media. Experts also believe the average American spends 3 hours per day watching TV. 

Let’s take half of that number and call it an hour and a half daily. If you mulitply 1.5 by 5 (work days), that’s 7.5 hours per week. These hours (over a work year of 48 weeks) equals a whopping 360 hours: 15 days of wasted time. Time you will never get back. 

Learn to protect your time. If you are a leader, start protecting the time of those on your team. 

Take a moment to ponder if the meeting you are about to have is necessary. Adam Grant, from the Wharton School of Business, says there are “4 reasons to meet: to decide, learn, bond and do”. 

Many who’ve been through our certification courses would tell you that we are almost obsessive about teaching project managers to protect organizational resources. We teach there are three types of business meetings: 

Information exchange: status/progress reports, sync meetings, product updates, and more.

Brainstorming: problem-solving, ideation, creativity, course of action development, and more.

Decision making: approvals, phase-gates, and more.

If you don’t know why you are meeting, quit wasting everyone’s time. 

It’s precious, and we don’t get it back.

Protect it or regret it.