Meeting agendas and priority management

How often do you find yourself thinking or expressing “there are not enough hours in the day” or “I’m so busy”?

Most likely, this is a mindset you have or regularly experience.

The ability to understand the difference between being “busy” and being “productive” is a skill you can learn or improve at any age. In addition to our situations, we are all overwhelmed with global stress, family expectations and professional challenges.

Avenues of communication is one of the biggest components to grasp when improving your priority management skills. Since the majority of our workforce is performing remotely, our communication style has added additional layers of obstacles to overcome.

On a positive note, you can improve the way you spend your time and enhance your productivity. Work-life balance is not achievable if you always are taking work home. We all need to acknowledge there needs to be a clear division of personal and professional time. If you are working from home, obtaining a workspace away from your family is crucial. This will help you separate these factors and provide overall peace not having the constant visual reminder of work in sight.

Calendar utilization and agendas are helpful in every situation. Creating and maintaining a personalized system is where many people fall behind or fail completely. To customize a priority management routine, you must first understand what you are trying to accomplish and your time frame.

Let’s dive into your work routine, responsibilities, frequency and duration. I like to share my experience, along with ways I’ve overcome challenges by implementing organization, priority management and upkeep maintenance.

My last corporate role revolved around a split-responsibility position. That job was created to be a 50/50 role, but that proved to be an unfair equation after a short time in that position. Wearing many hats, I was requested to provide administrative backup, physical upkeep of paper flow, personal assistance, calendar management, software support and education for multiple managers all while volunteering to tidy common spaces.

As I stated, understanding your responsibilities is needed before establishing an organized approach to priority management and creating agendas. So how do you do this?

The power of lists and documenting what you are doing, how much time it takes and the frequency you are performing tasks is a great start. Create time slots in your calendar and using reoccurring features to block time. Selecting various reminders of your upcoming tasks is a helpful tool that allows time to prepare, work on, provide updates and complete projects.

If you are meeting with an individual or group, it’s proven effective to have an agenda outlining what you need to discuss during your time together.

We all prefer to refrain from thinking “this meeting could have been an email” or “what’s my take-away?” or even “what contribution do I need to make to build momentum?”


If creating an agenda is a new concept for you, an easy outline to start with is:

• Check in with your team: Provide opportunity for others to express challenges or accomplishments. This might identify topics for discussion. It also is a great way to express to your staff members that they are appreciated and recognized. Lastly, it could identify if a one-on-one is needed outside of the meeting.

• Review reoccurring or ongoing projects: Where are you/others at with progress being made? This can apply to many different topics, so be clear on what you are discussing. Be specific on who’s doing what and follow-up to be made.

• Talk about new projects and opportunities: Delegate clearly. Request feedback on these assignments. If someone is overwhelmed, this is a time to identify if someone else can step in to assist.

• Recap what was just discussed: This meeting could have been five minutes to hours in duration, so reiterating responsibilities, time frame and goals is an important objective.

• Take action: While topics are fresh in you mind, schedule time blocks following the meetings on your calendar to complete necessary follow-up. Something that takes five minutes could ultimately be prolonged and forgotten. Update notes on the agenda so you can effectively share feedback and updates at your next meeting.

Time Management vs. Priority Management

Time is one thing we can not manage and we can never get back. A successful outlook is to focus on priority management, and how effective you are with your time.

The person who complains about not having enough time is likely spending a majority of their time expressing to others, how much they have to do vs. being productive.

• Understand and prioritize your essential tasks to obtain your goals.

• Focus on three priority tasks. Multitasking will take more time to complete something, and most likely, you will not complete projects with high accuracy.

• Focus and complete a project correctly the first time. Save yourself from redoing.

• Create a repeat system to implement priority management. Focus on your hourly, daily, weekly and long-term goals.

• Communicate clearly and frequently with others so everyone is on the same page.