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Template: How to Optimize Focus Time

Why does this matter?

  1. more focus time 💡

  2. less meetings ⬇️

“No Internal Meeting Wednesdays”

The purpose is to help increase and collate the amount of focus time everyone has each week by not scheduling internal meetings on Wednesdays. We want you to ensure you have time to focus on deep work. 💡✨

We will not strictly enforce this framework, but rather we are empowering everyone to uphold it by giving everyone permission to say no to any internal meetings on Wednesdays.

This addresses focus time, but doesn’t automatically reduce the number of meetings.

Calendar Audit

That’s why it’s also important for everyone to conduct an individual calendar audit to evaluate and if needed reduce the number of meetings.

The purpose is to confirm whether the internal meetings currently on your calendar need to be meetings, and whether they are fulfilling their intended purpose. It’s spring cleaning for your calendar! 🌻📅

  1. Could this meeting be a Guru Card? Could this meeting be Guru Card + video for context?

  2. Address the four Ps of running of meeting

    1. Purpose: What is the purpose of the meeting and how does it align with the current Company OKRs and critical active projects?

    2. Product: What will attendees be able to do or what decision will be made at the end of this meeting?

    3. People: Who attends the meeting and why are they there?

      1. What roles does each attendee play before, during and after the meeting?

      2. What's the RACI model?

    4. Process: To ensure you're making the best use of in-person (Zoom) time together, share an agenda in the cal invite and in advance of the meeting

Optimizing Focus Time

Great! We’re now set for “No Internal Meeting Wednesdays” and we’ve audited our calendars. Now what?

In today’s world (especially while we’re all working remotely), there are lots of internal and external factors vying for our attention. We recognize that having the additional focus time doesn’t automatically mean that the time is being used most optimally. Unstructured time can be unfocused too.

Please check out these resources for guidance on how to optimize your new/additional focus time: ✨

Tips for structuring your no internal meeting day ✅

  • Slack is intended to be asynchronous, so you’re not expected to have your green light illuminated all day

  • That said, communicating with your team about what you’re working on will be important. Utilize the Slack status feature to communicate what you’re up to

  • Using time-blocking strategies to focus on doing one thing or type of task at a time. For example, you could block 10-11am for “Slack follow-ups” vs. spending time responding to individual messages as they come in

  • Work with an accountability buddy for a deep work session (you could also use an app like Focusmate which matches you with a buddy)

  • Break up your day by getting outside or making a midday meal as a milestone

  • Use your professional development budget and take a course during this time

  • Block time to read and digest pre-work

Tips for managers to help your team focus and get the most from no internal meeting day ✅

  • Have a Slack standup before to check in on focus day items and outcomes

  • Prep any pre-reads/pre-work before Wednesday so that there’s time to digest and respond during the no meeting day

We want your feedback!

While we are trying out these changes, the Workplace Strategy Working Group wants your feedback! 💭Ways to share feedback:

FAQs

  • What constitutes an internal meeting?

    • Any meeting where all the participants are Guru employees. This includes 1:1s, team meetings, project meetings, stand-ups, etc.

  • What about recurring meetings vs one-time meetings?

    • “No Internal Meeting Wednesdays” apply to recurring and one-time internal meetings

  • What happens if I need to jump on Zoom with an internal colleague to solve a problem?

    • Absolutely, you can definitely hop on a quick Zoom if needed. We just encourage everyone to be mindful of their colleague’s focus time too.