Meetings are a notorious time suck to any entrepreneur's day. Meeting someone outside the office for dinner or drinks makes things worse. Factor in travel time, waiting for your order, and countless interruptions at a noisy bar or restaurant, and you're lucky if you're out of there in under two hours.
So toss out the power lunch. Forget happy hour. Nothing's getting accomplished anyway. Instead, schedule your most important one-on-one meetings at breakfast.
This pro tip comes from Ryan Estis, a Minneapolis-based leadership coach and keynote speaker who's an expert in business performance and growth. With over 75 speaking engagements a year, Estis's time is precious. Productive meetings are key. He has no time to waste.
That's why he started doing them in the morning. Previously, his meetings would run around two hours. Now, Estis has them down to 45 minutes. A recent BBC piece explains how Estis gets important business done before 9 a.m.
Get people at their most focused
Countless productivity experts recommend mornings for your most important tasks. You can get ahead before everyone else starts bugging you and stealing your time.
Meetings are no exception to the morning productivity rule. If you have a crucial topic or business deal to discuss, mornings are an optimal time to capture someone's full attention. Get your face-to-face meeting in first thing in the morning and you don't have to worry about them bowing out later because they had other fires to fight.
Accomplish more in less time
Meeting for lunch, drinks, or dinner inevitably takes up far too much time. Estis says he keeps his breakfast meetings to 45 minutes tops. That's all you need.
Since it's a less popular time to meet, you'll waste less time waiting in line or waiting for a table. There are fewer distractions swirling around your table. Estis even recommends picking a place where you can order at the counter, so your server won't interrupt you to take your order or check in. Then you can get straight to the point and get down to business and make those 45 minutes count.
Of course, the idea of a power breakfast seems primed for morning people. So if that doesn't sound like you, start by becoming a morning person and go from there.