Adapt to the new habits in meetings

Adapt to the new habits in meetings

How I adapt to the new habits and what are the habits of Japanese people regarding the time and effectiveness in meetings
September 24, 2021

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Originally posted on my Twitter in Indonesian πŸ‘‰πŸ» Link to thread

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One thing that makes the most difference when working at JP and ID (at least at my current company) is about effectiveness and punctuality. Want to share a bit about it and how I adjust it to a new habit.

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Disclaimer: This story is not representing all of the Japanese Company. This is only my personal experience in my current company which is based in Tokyo, Japan. There might be differences with others.

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In here, there are rarely meetings that are longer than 30 minutes. Meetings with a duration of 60-90 minutes, only on company-wide meetings such as Global All Hands or Pillar-level All Hands. Even in some cases, there are meetings that are only 15 minutes long.

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And here, people are super punctual. The meeting is at 09.00, and people are already in the meeting room by 08.58. When Finished at 09.30, really finished at that time. How could that be? This is my short analysis:

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1. Write the agenda in the description of the calendar invitation

This is important, I just realized now that this is quite important. Every time you are invited to a meeting, the description is very complete, from the link notion, related documents, until the Figma links, etc. are all attached there.

So before the meeting, everyone is well-informed about what will be discussed. So when the meeting starts, we directly discuss the main point, don't need to explain the context again.

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2. Stick to the agenda

While here, it feels like there has never been another discussion outside the agenda written on the invitation. So the scheduled 30 minutes is really used to discuss the written agenda. What if there is another discussion? Usually, we schedule another meeting or discuss it via the Slack channel.

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3. People On time

This is very important. It's a simple word, but it's hard to do it. I myself have always been strict about the time with myself. Pandji Pragiwaksono said: "It's not that I don't want to wait for the late one, but respect who came on time"

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Being on time here is not only a matter of arriving, but also a matter of finishing. Because if it's too late, it will have the impact on the next agenda/meeting, right?

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I experienced this once. In my first month here, I wanted to present a design, but I was long-winded because there was no preparation. After 30 minutes, it was cut and the meeting ended and continued with slack. Yes, simply because "respect who came on time" in their next meeting.

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The things above, have a huge impact on my personal productivity. For example, there are 4 30-minute meetings in a day, the total meeting is only 2 hours. There are still 6 hours left for focus time. So far, the most meetings in a day are only 5.

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Here is my meeting statistic from google calendar, in average I just have almost 2 hours meeting per day

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So, now, how's my adaptation? Here is:

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1. Make daily planning & goals

Actually, a lot of people have told me to do this, but I'm just doing it here myself. At the same time, learn to be strict with the plan too: When should you focus time, when can you have relax time (youtube, random browsing, etc.), when have meetings. And who do you want to follow up with?

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2. Make an outline if you want to make a presentation

Until now, I still make this. I really wrote what I wanted to say. The advantage is that I can know if this is effective or not, or long-winded? Isn't 30 minutes enough? I'm also able to trim things that aren't to the point.

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3. Write the agenda on the calendar invitation

Because I feel the benefits of this, I also try to write an invitation with an agenda that I want to discuss. And also include links to related files so that there are no 5 minutes wasted just to share the links in the google meet chat.


So, the 30-minute meeting is very doable and very effective. During this time when there is no barrier between work and life, this 30 minute meeting habit is really good for me.


That's all. Seems simple but I've never done it when I was on Indonesia. It turns out that the impact is quite large & great. Every day always finish on time, there is no overtime. At least this is what I saw in the design team. I've never seen anyone working overtime so far.

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End of thread. Thanks for reading!

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