Time Is Money - Calculate Your Meeting Costs Before You Start
With the latest update now available on the Apple AppStore, MeeTime meeting timer adds the ability to calculate the costs of your meeting.
Combining a meeting cost calculator into a meeting timer app allows you to see the estimated cost of the meeting both as you are planning the meeting and while you are running it.
To find out why you should be using a timer for your meetings at all, read this first.
If you have never worked out the cost of your meetings before then we think you might be shocked at the amount even a simple meeting costs. For a very quick glance, try the free one at HBR.
We costed a recent conference call for the whole sales force of a large corporation at £7.5k.
It really puts into perspective the value of time you can save by finishing early. This particular meeting finished early and saved over £1k worth of time.
Setting Up MeeTime to Calculate Meeting Costs
To set up the meeting cost calculator in MeeTime, you need to have a pro version of the app, either by purchasing the app previously or by signing up for a pro subscription (a two week free trial is available on all plans at the time of writing).
If you have a pro version, the meeting costs section in the setting should automatically switch to “on.”
In settings, you can click on edit to change the default average salaries by grade for your organisation.
If you have no idea then you can leave them as they are. The dollar amount is just to denote currency amount rather than the actual currency, you do not need to convert your salaries into dollars if you are using the app in other currencies unless you want to.
Remember to include fully costed salaries for this part so you can really understand what the value is the organisation rather than the individual's. A rough rule of thumb is to double the amount of gross salary that you estimate each grade to get paid. This allows for employers pension/401k contributions, national insurance / health care and any other benefits that the company might provide for their employees.
Once you have done the set up, or left the default settings, the next time you add a meeting and get to the agenda entry screen, you will see an option at the top to add costs to the meeting. This is the meeting cost calculator part.
You will have already, or will next, add the timings to the meeting. The costs per grade are already set as they are unlikely to change very frequently. So all you need to do now is add the number of attendees from each grade that you think will be coming to the meeting.
If you are running a meeting with guest speakers coming in and out revolving around a core group, then we advise to simply enter the average amount of people in the room for the whole duration to make the costs calculate most accurately.
The time in the circle in the top right will show the cost of the meeting if you have already entered the agenda. If not, when you go back to add the agenda timing the text in the circle will cycle in between showing the duration of the meeting and the cost of the meeting.
Once you are done, just hit save like normal, add the meeting to your calendar if needed and wait until 15mins before the meeting start time to get a notification pop up from MeeTime and get set to have a great meeting!
Calculate Meeting Costs In Real Time With MeeTime
The benefit of having the meeting cost calculator within the meeting timer is that you can see costs in real time during the meeting (above). This really focuses the mind when you can see the costs increasing each second, especially in with a large meeting agenda.
Again, for a quick glance for free to see how much your costs trickle upwards, use this free web app.
For more sophisticated meeting tracking, see the MeeTime app in action below:
More On Meetings
More From The Blog
With the next Apple event scheduled for 12th September, iOS12 will be upon us shortly.
If you have not seen the developer preview or the public beta, iOS12 contains a great feature for your meetings...
The Do Not Disturb feature can now be set just until the end of an event in your calendar. It will be easier than ever to instruct your attendees to turn on do not disturb to remove distractions from your meeting.
If you have any other tips for removing devices from meetings, leave them in the comments below.
Are you tired of those useless, never-ending meetings? Have you had a terrible meeting today? You are not alone, but there is a better way.
Employees are wasting up to 2 years of their lives sitting in useless meetings and no wonder as three-quarters of people have never received any formal training on how to conduct a meeting.
Meetings are currently facing a renewed backlash with some high-profile companies sharing their loath for them. Elon Musk recently sent an email to Tesla employees telling them to just walk out of bad meetings and that excessive meetings were the blight of big companies.
His advice is to keep them short and infrequent. But in a world where it is ever easier to schedule meetings, how can we keep productive in the ones that are necessary?
Why Should You Be Using A Meeting Timer? Because All The Cool Kids Are Doing It
It is interesting to see people when they are in an internal corporate meeting. Everyone hates them, yet most are just resigned to the fact that they have to be there. It seems like no one is linking the fact that if they take control and leave this meeting early, they can get home to their kids, go to the gym, work on their side hustle or, in fact, anything that they complain they do not have time for.
Perhaps this is why companies are now moving towards timing their meetings. Samsung recently said that they are trying to save wasted time by incorporating meeting timers as a push towards a 'work smart' culture.
Google has long used a time timer as to make the time in meetings "visible and tangible, so it changes the way people think about time passing."
So Which Meeting Countdown Timer Should You Use? Meeting Timer Software Or Hardware?
Apart from just using a clock, which timer should you be using? The main decision boils down to whether you want to use software or hardware.
There are a few different timing solutions available from Amazon, with the Time Timer being the most simple and visual.
How Using A Meeting Agenda Timer Can Be Even Better
The trouble with all the timers above is that they do not help you during the meeting. The advice to 'start on time, stay on time, stick to the agenda and end on time' is always in the top 5 ways to make meetings better, but as Yogi Berra says, "in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is."
Staying on time is easier said than done. Especially if you are the one running the meeting, trying to keep time and taking notes. When things inevitably go awry, it can be an impossible mental arithmetic task to work out how to get back on track.
MeeTime was an app designed specifically for timing meetings. MeeTime will start when the meeting is supposed to start. If you are behind, guess what? You're behind. However, MeeTime will help keep you on track with beautiful visuals showing how much time is left and who is on point for each section of the meeting. Plus, it is easier than ever to finish a meeting on time with MeeTime. Should things not go to plan, the "Auto time remaining" setting automatically apportions over/under-runs across the remainder of the agenda.
Do People Like Me At Real Businesses Use MeeTime Meeting Timer?
Absolutely. Don't just take it from me, read these testimonials:
"This is a great, great idea and it has massive potential. I truly believe that this has got great potential to help a large number of people!" ~ Chris Bateman, Global Senior Manager, World Class Supply Chain, Molson Coors Europe.
"I think the visual aesthetics alone make it far easier to keep pace during a meeting instead of watching a clock. Great start for a new app!" ~ Carlye King, Project Manager, Revenue Management & Optimization, Nielsen.
"This is an awesome idea! I love this," said Richmond Nash, Productivity Coach. "It is indispensable to have an app that breaks down the agenda of a meeting by each point and the time frame for each! I'm in a lot of meetings and this is going to be a go to app!!"
"Does exactly what it says on the tin. The interface during the meeting itself is easy to understand and has all the info that you need. I liked the congratulations summary, I could see how much time I'd saved for myself and others and it's allowed me to talk of the benefits of meeting with me - we always achieve our objectives within the time allocated!" ~ Paul Rowe, Commercial Enterprise PMO Business Partner, Molson Coors International.
MeeTime is already being used by employees in big organisations including Goldman Sachs, Rolls Royce, Nielsen, Hewlett Packard, DXC and Molson Coors, among others. It can work for your organisation too and for less than a cup of coffee you don't need to save much time to get a return on your investment. Why not give it a try?
Download now or find out more
To find out how MeeTime can help calculate the cost of your meetings, read this now.
Our video from the Keep Productive YouTube channel:
We also sponsored their apps of. the month video which you can see here
This has to come above all else. Just like looking after yourself first because you cannot help anyone else if you do not have your health. As long as your focus is on how to help others, then looking after yourself first is okay. If you have a tendency to be selfish, then you may need different advice. But if you are the sort of person that always puts others before yourself, you may be burning yourself out to the point that you can no longer help them.
It is okay to take some time for yourself. You need to unwind, decompress, de-stress. There is no point putting others first if you are angry, irritable and frustrated. Sort yourself out so that you are in the right frame for your interactions. Otherwise, you are not really helping - you are there in body but not in mind - just going through the motions because you have to.
A quick cheat code for getting some time for yourself? Get up before everyone else. No need to lose sleep, go to bed earlier. Getting up earlier is the easiest way to be more productive. Workout, meditate, journal. Whatever it is you need to do to get back to yourself, early morning is the easiest time to do it before the day descends into chaos and whim.
I was watching Master Chef. What a decadent people we humans have become. I watched someone prepare cauliflower for three hours. Slicing it, grilling it, making balls of it in solution and making a powder out of it. They served it four ways with a tiny ball of sheepâs these on top. Whilst it looked good, and was obviously a testament to the technical skills and creativity of the chef, do we really need to mess around with our food?
The answer to this question was made clear for me when the critic who tasted it described it as very clever because when he ate a bit of the cauliflower along with the cheese that exploded in his mouth, he said it tasted like cauliflower cheese - something much less extravagant that could be knocked up in a tenth of the time. If you want to eat something that tastes like cauliflower cheese, then why not just eat that rather than over complicate things?
Unsophisticated is the counter-argument. You are not sophisticated enough to understand the delicate flavours and all of the work involved. You must be unsophisticated if you like to eat actual cauliflower cheese for a tenth of the price.
I feel like money comes first and then seeking a way to waste it. Michelin star restaurants are the epitome of this for me. Why can we not be happy eating plain porridge for every meal? Why must we seek out the most elaborate processes possible for our food to be tampered with before we can enjoy it?
Why must food be exciting at all? It does not need to be anything more Than just fuel for the body if we do not give in to our need for pleasure.
Of course, we do this in every area of life. Spending money and over complicating things to further the perception of ourselves to others. We love to over complicate things as it makes us look clever, indispensable, that we need a bigger team to cope.
What can you try today to live with the scantest of fare, to think from first principals, to simplify? See how it feels.
If you do not have a plan when things go wrong, what do you do? You are trusting yourself to make a reasoned choice quickly amongst chaos and emotion. Planning is not some magical thing where you have to tirelessly plan out every scenario or every detail - as people who hate planning might think. Nor is thinking that the plan will need to change anyway so why bother doing it in the first place.
It is the planning, rather than the plan itself, that is beneficial. It is the thinking time ahead of chaos that allows better decisions when the plan is knocked off track, even if you have not formally considered the event or circumstances that end up impacting the plan.
Similarly, it is much easier to assess what is going on in life through a mental model. We have mental models whether we consciously choose them or not, so why wouldn't you want to be conscious of them! To be more aware of yourself, you need to be aware of the mental models you are using.
A plan is very to mental model, it helps make sense of what is going on around you, and the consequences, very quickly. It provides structure now, to any further decision. With no plan to start with, things will quickly descend into scattered panic and disorder at the first sign of trouble.
This is what leaders do. They must sell the vision of the future, gain buy-in and then get on track through a plan.
Meetings are no different. They will descend into mindless chatter and chaos without knowing the vision of the meeting - the purpose. There must also be a semblance of structure - an agenda. It does not need to be detailed, but it does need to be there to protect the purpose of the meeting.
Things will go off track but deciding how to get back on track is much easier now you have done the groundwork.
The first of this weekends's link posts is from Alison Rimm on HBR about to-do lists. The whole article is worth a read for how she manages her to-do's, but I love the following advice about using this in conjunction with your calendar, which I have also been doing for a while now:
The calendar is for blocking out time to accomplish important matters on schedule. For example, instead of putting an item like âwrite speechâ on my to-do list, I put it on my calendar, blocking out the necessary prep time to get it done. I do this as soon as I book the speech. Then thereâs no chance that Iâll notice the day before, âOops, Iâm supposed to give that speech tomorrow!â And putting it on the calendar right way means that if I donât actually have time to write the speech, I can see that at the outset and (regretfully) decline the opportunity. I consider that block of time an unbreakable appointment.
Read the whole article here
For the first of the weekend link posts we turn to riding the wave of motivation by Doug Toft who has some great advice from BJ Fogg, a psychologist at Stanford University. This fits in with our thinking in a previous blog post on setting up your future self. Over to Doug:
Harness high motivation in three key ways
High motivation is temporary. It can disappear in a matter of days, hours, or minutes. So, seize the precious opportunity that high motivation presents.
According to BJ, the most valuable things that you can do when highly motivated are:
1. Structure your future behavior. Structured behaviors are presets â default options. For example: If you want to reduce your spending, then cut up your credit cards. If you want to stop eating junk food, then remove all that stuff from your kitchen and throw it away. If you want to exercise regularly, then schedule a personal trainer. This strategy is powerful because reversing your earlier commitment forces you to exert extra effort, such as calling the trainer to cancel.
2. Reduce barriers to future behavior. For instance, go to the grocery store and buy a lot of vegetables. Then go home, wash them, cut them, and put all that good food into serving size containers. This reduces a barrier to making healthy meals when your motivation to cook sags and you feel the urge to do something easier â like going out to eat.
3. Increase capacity. When your motivation to cook a healthy meal is high, for example, then take that opportunity to learn a new recipe. This is harder than going out to eat or chopping vegetables. But as you practice making the meal over the coming weeks, youâll find this behavior easier to do â even when you donât feel like cooking.
Note that Iâve numbered these options in the order that BJ recommends. So when motivation peaks, start with #1 before trying #2. And opt for #3 after experimenting with #2.
Read the whole article here
We choose our own actions. Even when we are planning the future, it is the planning that we are doing in the present moment. We only have the present to do things and only a series of present moments before the future becomes the present and then just as quickly becomes the past.
Wishing is the worst of future activities. Wishes get you nowhere. Next best is planning. This can be helpful but can also be disguised procrastination. If you are planning in the present moment, then this is also time that cannot be spent actually doing the activities that will move your plan forward. Realise this and also that 'no plan survives first contact with the enemy' as well as the fact that you are unlikely to be planning to lead men into war. If you plan fails, it does not matter. Try something else.
If it can be helpful to plan, but also if the plan is likely to change and is not life-threatening, then how much time should you. Spend planning? As little as possible. Say, ten minutes?
A plan can protect us from busy work. We just need to make sure that doing the plan, and the associated tasks of keeping it up to date does not become the busy work itself.
A quick rule of thumb for planning quickly: Plan top-down using no more than three steps. Then list no more than three steps below these as sub-tasks sub-steps. This forces you to keep it really simple. Do not over complicate things. You do not need much structure to know what you should be doing right now. Keep it simple to the point that it seems too simple. Then do the first thing that you can do.
You do not need much more than this to start. Just start.