Taming the Time Monster

When it comes to meetings and events, time can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Time,time, time, see what’s become of me…WhileI looked around for my possibilities…
Fans of the song 'A Hazy Shade of Winter,' whether the original by Simon & Garfunkel or the remake by The Bangles, will know those words but perhaps not know the meaning. Those words and the whole song for that matter is about how quickly time passes and how hard it can be to control it. For business professionals, these words ring the truest when it comes to meetings and events.

Whether you are managing a meeting or event, attending a meeting or event, or simply providing services to anyone in the first two groups, time management is a vital aspect of the process that can make or break you. Fortunately, in our world of daily technological advances, there is a multitude of time management tools that work across multiple platforms (traditional PCs, mobile devices and even wearable mobile) so you can begin to tame the time monster in your world.
To make this problem more understandable, this article will break it down into two groups as time management around a meeting or event has different aspects depending on if you manage the event or you are an attendee or tasked with getting someone to or around the event on time. Fortunately, the time management tools we will focus on can be used by both groups, but some make more sense than others depending on your role.

For event and meeting organizers, the planning of the event can take weeks or months, but there is a high level of control and deadlines are established upfront and are easily managed. Post-event, the analysis of the event's success (and any potential ROI) can be performed slowly so as to create an accurate assessment. Managing and event or meeting as it is going on is where the difficulty lies.

Utilizing project management tools that allow your entire team to collaborate on the event's success while also having a real-time understanding of each step of the event. This will allow presentations to start on time, speakers to be where they need to be when they need to be there, and arrangements for refreshments and breaks to be handled as seamlessly as possible. As most project management tools have mobile aspects, utilizing smartphones, tablets and even smartwatches, will allow everyone to be operating from the same playbook. Additionally, these tech tools also allow for changes to be made and the entire team made aware in realtime. Among the best project management tools we have seen are Teamwork and Trello.

For those attending an event or meeting, or someone providing a service to assist someone attending an event or meeting, the tools you need are already on your smartphone, mobile device or smartwatch. It is understanding the power of these tools and using them to your best advantage is where the disconnect is for many. Focusing on the Apple product (Ipad, Iphones and Apple Watches), there are powerful calendar apps that allow you to not only schedule your day but establish reminders so that you can make sure you are on your way to where you need to be when you need to be there.

Another benefit of these these calendar apps is that if you are using all the same tech, in this case, Apple's family of mobile tech, they can be easily synchronized so that your calendar and the alerts you set are always prevalent even if your phone is on silent or you are so involved with what you are doing that you miss a vibration alert in silent mode. Of course, if the pre-loaded calendar apps are not to your liking, Apple's App Store (and Google's app store for non-Apple tech) have a large selection of time management tools for you to download and use.

In the end, whether you are managing a meeting or event or attending, the power is there for you to take control. It just needs a little effort and learning to make the moments move smoother.

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Posted on Dec 18 2018

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Taming the Time Monster

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