Time Vacuums

So often I hear my colleagues complain about how little time they have left in a day.  It always occurs to me that maybe they should be more aware of the tasks and deliverables that they commit themselves to (or are committed to by someone else) and manage accordingly.
Lately, I have had some time thieves surrounding me that are stealing my precious task completion time and I feel a little bit less cranky about those people who can’t get their work done.  Maybe it isn’t all their fault.
Inside a traditional organization we have little grasp on the actual use of the tools we have at hand to make our lives easier.  So often I discover people who arrive late at meetings because they can’t sort out their calendars to give themselves meeting reminders.
Often we lose the first five to ten minutes of each meeting to small talk while people arrive late.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally care about your adventures with Junior, Rover, Your Grandma etc, but I care when we are grabbing a coffee or riding the elevator.  I do not care when we are using up the precious minutes that we have as a group to resolve stuff.
The cost of time.
The average meeting I attend has roughly 6-10 people.  Say each of the six people make a conservative $50,000/ annually, that means that each hour of their time is worth ~$30 add benefits and vacation etc. into that mix and let’s call it $50/hour. SO a meeting with 10 people is worth about $500/hour if we start every meeting 10 minutes late we are throwing away about $85 talking about taking Rover to the park.  Multiply that by five meetings a week $425, times fifty two weeks a year $22,100.  We are throwing away half a person each year just on my one little team.  Multiply that times an entire department or organization and poof! You have enough staff to complete every initiative with time left over.  Just by being on time and ready to go.

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