categories: time management
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August 27th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

10 comments (+ Add)

Unusual Time Saving Tips (3 of 5)

Plan for Shorter Appointments

For some reason, when someone schedules an appointment with a pastor, they generally assume it will be a one hour appointment.

Most one hour appointments could be handled in much less time.

Years ago, I shortened my appointments to 45 minutes. We’d explain ahead of time that I have 45 minutes allotted for the meeting. No one complained. We got to the important stuff a lot faster.

After some time, I shortened most meetings to 30 minutes and some to 10 or 15. It is amazing how much important ground you can cover when both parties understand how much time you have to work with and you get right to the important issues.

It also helps to back appointments up to each other. If you have a 1:00 p.m. appointment, you might schedule your next one at 1:45 instead of 2:00. When some people want to go past their time, someone else can politely interrupt and explain that your next appointment is waiting.

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  1. Aug 27, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Do you have only a day or 2 a week you use for apointments? When are u coming to South Africa dude?

  2. Aug 27, 2008 at 7:32 am

    I like the back to back appt.’s w/ the polite interruption! :-)

  3. Aug 27, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I’m a big fan of planning 1-2 blocks of time per week to take appointments and then stacking them back to back in 45 minute blocks.

    Great post! Loving this series.

  4. Aug 27, 2008 at 10:23 am

    great post. I find my biggest issues are not the appointments, but the 10-15 minute interruptions through out the day. “hey Travis, can I ask you something” can take 20-30 minutes out of my day, and it breaks focus. I tell myself I won’t let it happen, but I don’t want to be insensitive to others who work with me. Any advice?

  5. Aug 27, 2008 at 10:44 am

    This is crucial. We are challenged by Christ to be a good steward of what we have been given…

    Billy Hornsby said the other day, we measure time by seconds,min,hrs,days,etc. but we manage time by “events”.

    Using this thought process, I have focused on arranging each meeting as an event with a definite starting and ending time.

  6. Aug 27, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    But when the doctor’s office gets backed up several minutes with appointments, everyone rediscovers the concept of grace.

  7. Aug 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    [...] Unusual Time Saving Tips (3 of 5) [...]

  8. 9Jared
    Aug 27, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Travis, sometimes you’ve got to talk to them. Jesus was once going to a solitary place to spend time with God (after a long day) and all of a sudden saw this crowd coming toward him. He had compassion on them and spoke to them…that’s soo important.

    But there are situations where we will need to wait and talk with them later…I’d suggest you politely say, “May I talk with you later about this?”

  9. Sep 1, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    how would you handle having someone give you a polite interruption when you don’t have an assistant? Having no gatekeeper at all sometimes really allows people just to walk on in, even with my door closed. (I’ve even had people walk in on meetings!)