Tag Archive for: productivity tips

Become a Hybrid-Meeting Expert

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Hybrid work is here to stay. And guess what? That means some Of your co-workers will be in the office for meetings and others will be, well…anywhere!

So knowing how to make a hybrid-meeting engaging is vital.

I spoke with top-rated virtual keynote speaker, head of editorial at Prezi, and LinkedIn Learning instructor, Lorraine Lee to get her top tips for being a hybrid-meeting expert.

Here are five highlights from our conversation.

 

1) Do more than the bare minimum.

Video fatigue is real and by this point in the pandemic we’ve all experienced it. And it’s hard to combat it. I’ve spoken before about how to schedule so you don’t overload your schedule with video calls and meetings to avoid this phenomenon.

But fatigue might stem from hybrid-meetings feeling like the same old thing. “You hop on video and you talk and there’s not really a lot of focus, and that’s that, and that’s why people are getting video fatigue or Zoom fatigue,” she added.

She suggests trying to incorporate slides and other tools, like Slido, Figma, and Prezi, to keep hybrid meetings engaging for all participants. (For more tool suggestions, check out our entire conversation here.) “Prezi has a feature called Onscreen Responses, where you can add texts, gifs, and stickers onto the screen in real time during your meetings to add a little bit more fun to meetings,” Lorraine explained.

2) Send prep materials ahead of time.

Of course, fun interactive additions to the meeting keep participants awake, but necessarily on-task. To set yourself up for success during a meeting, you need to prepare for the meeting.

“Anytime a facilitator can send prep materials or just some questions, food for thought ahead of the meeting, it’s going to make your meeting more productive,” Lorraine said.

This allows participants to come into the meeting knowing the goals. “They’ll be able to join the conversation, ready with ideas and to participate,” Lorraine added.

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3) Define how to participate.

You’ve sent out your prep materials. Everyone’s joining the meeting in person and over Zoom. You’ve got your slides and gifs all ready to go. You’re on auto-pilot now, right? Wrong.

Clearly define how to participate at the beginning of every hybrid-meeting.

“Making clear how you want people to participate is going to ensure that everyone can get a fair chance and speak up and feel included at that table,” Lorraine said. Telling people if you want them to raise their hand or use the chat, etc will cut down on people speaking out of turn.

Another great way to lead a hybrid-meeting is to ask the remote participants for their input first. “There’s something called proximity bias,” Lorraine explained, “we’re going to favor the people who are near us.” So it’s your responsibility as a hybrid leader to make sure your remote team has equal opportunity to weigh in.

4) Set specific deadlines.

Procrastination is easy, which makes deadlines essential. My remote team uses tools like Asana to set deadlines for everything we need to get done. Asana makes it easy to set specific deadlines with times and dates, but you can also do this in your hybrid-meeting as action steps come up.

“Be as specific as you can,” Lorraine said. Thursday is good. Thursday 12:00PM Pacific time is better. She also likes to ask her team about deadlines.

“Is this reasonable within your schedule… makes sure things get done and builds trust within a team,” Lorraine added. This way your team knows when to get something done and you know you’re not setting them up for failure by giving them an unrealistic deadline. Creating a positive team atmosphere is key to a leading a high-performing hybrid team.

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5) Learn “Virtual and Hybrid-Meeting Essentials.”

Three of my LinkedIn Learning courses as well as Lorraine’s course “Virtual and Hybrid-Meeting Essentials” are a part of the new Pathfinder Series “Mastering Hybrid Work”.

“My LinkedIn Learning course includes the essentials you need in terms of planning and preparing, how to derive engagement during the actual meeting and then what to do after the meeting’s over,” Lorraine said.

If you’re looking to upgrade your hybrid-meeting for your teams, check out the entire episode of Inside Scoop and start the “Mastering Hybrid Work” pathfinder series which is FREE until April 29th 2022.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Secrets of High-Performing Hybrid Teams

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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At the beginning of the pandemic, we went from mostly working in-office to working remotely overnight. Now that we’ve settled into our remote or hybrid work environments, it’s time to assess.

Is your virtual or hybrid team thriving? Or just surviving? Is the team you’re leading happy? Or will you be the next company to experience a wave of “The Great Resignation”?

So I asked speaker, best-selling author and founding president of Clear Concept Inc., Ann Gomez, to join me on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, to spill the secrets of high-performing and happy hybrid teams.

Here are four ways to cultivate a great hybrid work environment.

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Graduating from Procrastination

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Procrastination. We all do it. Maybe you see it as a bad habit you’re trying to stop. Or you see it as an asset because you “work best under pressure.”

But if you always leave things to the last minute, is that really true? Either way, leaving yourself more time and systematically working on something can’t hurt.

According to a study at the McCraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University, “our reasons for delaying and avoiding [tasks] are rooted in fear and anxiety-about doing poorly, of doing too well, of losing control, of looking stupid, of having one’s sense of self or self-concept challenged.”

In short, we put tasks off that we don’t want to do. And we don’t want to do them because we’re afraid we’ll fail.

So how do we get over the fear? And get started accomplishing our goals?

Here are four steps to help you graduate from procrastination.

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The Productive Power of Lists

The simple to-do list can be a mighty productivity tool. Lists can help you approach goals in a more intentional way, set the right priorities, and hold yourself accountable. Which can help you achieve more at work and in your career.

And you’re 33 percent more likely to do something if you write it down!

And my new Audible masterclass “The Productive Power of Lists” is here to help you get started!

This class will help you use lists to your maximum advantage. In this masterclass, you’ll learn to assess the work you have in front of you and identify how to best spend your time. You’ll figure out what to work on versus what to delegate, what’s important versus what can wait. From evaluating tasks through the lens of your top priorities to embracing your own productivity rhythm and scheduling free time to recharge, my Audible masterclass will empower you to accomplish more of what’s meaningful.

Some highlights of the class are:

  • My four-step formula for creating a list-making system.
  • What a “distraction placeholder” is and how to use it.
  • How to find your personal productivity style (and how to use that to effectively schedule your days).
  • Why an accountability buddy can be the secret to getting things done.
  • How to stay productive when working in a group.
  • What a “to become” list is and how it helps you envision your dream life.

To hear a sample of “The Productive Power of Lists” click here.

Handling Distractions in a Hybrid World

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Whether working from home or returning to the office, there are distractions everywhere. And we need help.

That’s why I invited focusologist, Penny Zenker, on the most recent episode of my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, “Handling Distractions in a Hybrid World.

Here are a few tips we discussed to understand, avoid, and deal with distractions.

1) Understanding your distraction type.

Penny breaks distractions into three categories: emotional, physical, and environmental.

Emotional distractions are the biggest category. Penny explained these can be “taking care of your parents who are older, or if your kids are sick, or you got passed over for the job that you wanted.” Emotional distractions are things that happen in your life that take up your thoughts and energy, distracting you from what you need to do presently.

Then there’s physical distractions. Penny says these are things like “stopping my kids from coming in.”

And then there’s environmental distractions. Like being too cold or too hot. These are external factors that distract us from the task at hand.

2) Creating awareness.

Now that you’re aware of the type of distraction you’re dealing with, you can work to prevent it in the future.

Penny walked us through an example for those of us returning to the office: “What do you do about those got-a-minute meetings where somebody comes and stops by your desk?”

You can set up boundaries. You can put up your away message. Or block your calendar. Or set up specific office hours so people know when (and when not) to stop by.

For individuals, Penny suggested having predefined things to say. She says something like, “I only have five minutes. Is it something we can handle real quick?” works great. This lets people know how much time you have. And if it can’t be handled in that time frame, you can set up a time to meet about it later.

As a company, or team leader, make it a point to listen to your team members and be proactive in setting policies to help minimize the distractions they face.

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Interested in keeping out distractions by creating more boundaries? Join me for my LinkedIn Learning Course “How to Set Boundaries and Protect Your Time.

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3) Getting back on track.

Not all distractions are avoidable. That’s why I developed my distraction placeholder method.

I keep my to-do list next to me at all times. And on the lower left-hand side at the very bottom, I leave an area open for my distraction placeholders.

So if I’m in the middle of writing an email and I get distracted, I stop. I write down what I was doing. Then I allow myself to be distracted by answering the phone or the door. (It’s a little bit like mindful meditation.)

And when I return from my distraction, I look at my placeholder to know exactly what I was doing and pick up where I left off.

You can see how I do it and download that for free here.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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