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June 23, 2024 5 mins

Take a break between meetings to stay engaged

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to build in travel time. Even if all
of your meetings are virtual ones, you will keep yourself

on schedule and you might be able to boost your
energy levels too. So back in the old pre COVID days,
people who worked in offices often needed to travel to
different meetings. You would check which conference room you needed
to report to for your one o'clock meeting, your two

o'clock meeting, and so forth. If you worked for a
big enough company, this could involve a reasonable hike. As
a result, meetings either needed to end a few minutes
before the hour, or they would generally all start a
few minutes after the hour. This is nothing more than

the natural consequence of people being unable to teleport, but
it had some upsides. Namely, people had to stand up
and move around every hour or so they'd get some
steps in If your office park had different buildings, you
might also get some fresh air. Even if you had

back to back meetings. There was a little respite, at
least for normal people without the clout to have everyone
come to them. These days, a great Many meetings are virtual,
and that is awesome. There's less commuting, less time spent
on airplanes, and that is better for people and better

for the environment. However, there is more of a temptation
to have that one o'clock meeting go right up until
two o'clock and you quickly click on over to your
next link. Then you go right to three o'clock and boom,
you click on the next one, and maybe you sneak
a two minute bathroom break in there somewhere. But if

people don't need to travel, then you don't technically have
to end early or start a little later, but it
is still a good idea to do so. People need breaks,
They need time to write down the to dos that
come out of each meeting. They need time to breathe

and clear their heads, which can help them avoid burnout.
Taking a few steps every hour or so is better
for people's health than sitting still. Moving around also helps
boost people's energy levels. So even if your meetings are virtual,
build in travel time. If you meet with a lot

of people from your same organization, then develop a culture
where you end all meetings ten minutes early, as in
ten minutes before the hour for standard one hour meetings.
You could obviously also start all meetings ten minutes late,
which is really the same thing, but this is sometimes
hard to explain to outsiders or get them to adopt

it as easily when they are meeting with you. Ending
earlier tends to feel more natural. When you are developing
agendas for meetings, really lean into this. At ten point
fifty that ten o'clock meeting has wrapped up. If someone
sends you an agenda that goes for the full hour,

ask if it can be shortened by a few minutes
to allow for people to grab a coffee or think
about their notes, or just note that you will need
a few minutes of travel time. Maybe people won't even
think about it. Most people were in that habit a
few years ago, so unless you only work with people

whose careers began after twenty twenty, you will probably all
figure it out. And then when you do get ten
minutes in between meetings, don't just check email tempting as
that is. If you are at home, go outside for
a few minutes, take your bathroom break if you need one,
of course, but also focus on doing something active with

this open space. You might be able to boost your
energy levels by enough to make it through that next
zoom meeting. And if you've got more than five or
six of those on any given day, well I don't
need to tell you that you can use all the
energy boosts you can get in the meantime. This is Laura.

Thanks for listening, and here's to making the most of
our time. Hey, everybody, I'd love to hear from you.
You can send me your tips, your questions, or anything else.
Just connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at

Before Breakfast Pod. That's b E the number four then
Breakfast pod. You can also shoot me an email at
Before Breakfast Podcasts at iHeartMedia dot com that Before Breakfast
is spelled out with all the letters. Thanks so much.
Should I look forward to staying in touch. Before Breakfast

is a production of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio,
visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen
to your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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