Reclaim Your Time With A Strategic Meetings System

How to cut down your time spent in meetings by 80%

You went into business because you want freedom, right?

Most entrepreneurs do.

They leave behind the 9-5 to create freedom.

And ironically, they end up working 10+ hours a day instead.

The average entrepreneur works 50-60 hours a week.

And that’s not even the worst part.

They spend about 75% of that time working IN the business.

So that’s over 2000 hours a year:

  • Pushing the business forward

  • Keeping the team running

  • Fighting fires and resolving issues

That’s 2000+ hours a year that could be spent doing what energizes and excites them.

Like thinking and strategizing on how they can grow the business.

Or what new ventures they can invest in to create more leverage and freedom.

I do Time & Energy Audits with all my clients and have found that a big chunk of their time is spent in meetings with their teams.

There’s a paradox where they don’t want to add more meetings to their calendar but feel like they need meetings to keep the business moving forward.

There’s an attachment to a sense of control that they’re afraid of losing.

They don’t realize that a system for meetings and strategic communication is missing in their business.

A way to still have control of the strategy while letting go of the need to control implementation.

The key here is Systems and Process.

Remember, you don’t create systems for the sake of having systems. And you don’t have meetings for the sake of having meetings.

You create systems to create leverage for yourself.

Systems reduce reactivity and highlight where operational frictions exist. Systems prevent chaos.

But the problem is most entrepreneurs are addicted to chaos.

Many avoid systems, consciously or unconsciously, because they feel like it “puts them in a box”.

The thing is: systems create consistency.

And consistency, structure, or calmness feels “unsafe” to the part of you that craves chaos.

But consistency creates leverage, and leverage will set you free.

So I want to share with you a Strategic Meetings System that you can begin to install into your business to reclaim your time and energy.

Quick announcement…

In case you missed it, I started a 2nd newsletter called The Inner Game.

It’s all about mindset, identity, consciousness, and how to win the inner game of entrepreneurship.

If you want to level up your business by leveling up YOU, get on the newsletter.

Strategic Meetings System

Let’s look at what meetings you need to have to keep the business operating.

A well-designed system will include meetings for these core components:

  • Vision & 1-Year Goals

  • Quarterly Objectives

  • Weekly 1:1’s with your Operator

  • Monthly Targets

  • Weekly Commitments

  • Daily Huddles

Now let’s look at what each meeting is for.

Vision & 1-Year Goals

In this annual meeting, you’re reviewing the long-term Vision of the business, your client-centric Mission, and your 1-Year Goals.

The key focus here is alignment and redirection of strategy.

  • What are we trying to build and create?

  • Where are we now?

  • How do we re-align and re-direct the business to stay on track toward creating the vision and accomplishing the mission?

Similar to an airplane, the path getting to the destination (vision and mission) is never linear.

At each step of the way, the plane must consistently redirect itself to stay on track to reach the desired outcome.

Your Goals every year will be a set of strategic redirections to get your Vision & Mission.

This is one of the most exciting meetings for Visionary CEOs because you get to think big picture AND strategically.

I created a Strategic Vision Planner to help CEOs prep for these annual Vision & Goals meetings.

Quarterly Objectives

Every quarter, you should be running Quarterly Planning Meetings to set the objectives and desired outcomes for the quarter.

In these meetings, you’re taking the 1-Year Goals and deciding where the business needs to go to be on track for accomplishing those goals.

  • What outcomes need to happen?

  • Who’s responsible for what?

  • How is success measured this quarter?

Like the annual Vision & Goals meeting, this one is also strategic.

A clear system or framework for setting the Quarterly Objectives is crucial. Some teams use Rocks, some use OKRs, and others will create their own.

The more clearly and effectively you’ve set up your Quarterly Objectives, the more aligned and focused your team will be.

Too many objectives and your team’s focus and energy will be dispersed.

If objectives are unclear, your energy will be dispersed because you’ll inevitably be pulled in to clarify the strategy and make decisions for your team.

You’ll end up being the bottleneck, preventing momentum.

Weekly 1:1’s with your Operator

If you have a rockstar Operator on deck, this meeting will eliminate most of the meetings you don’t need to be on.

Your Operator should be bringing you each week:

  • Key metrics updates

  • Important Issues or Decisions they need your help with

  • Forecasting any concerns

The point of this meeting is for you to get a pulse on how the business and team are doing.

To solve only the issues that the Operator themselves couldn’t resolve without you.

To be aware of any potential concerns or threats to the business so you can strategically and proactively plan.

And to continue to train your Operator to run your business for you.

If your operator currently isn’t able to do this for you, you either need to train them better or hire a better one.

Monthly Targets Review

This is a monthly meeting to review the progress of the Quarterly Objectives and set the calculated milestone for the next month.

Based on whether you’re off track or on track, this meeting redirects the priorities of the team.

This is not an implementation meeting, you’re doing project management and looking at what was done and what wasn’t.

You’re looking at data, making calculated shifts, and keeping the team focused on the outcome.

Weekly Commitments or Level 10

Now we’re stepping out of the strategy territory and entering implementation territory.

These meetings, often known as weekly Level 10 Meetings, are about reviewing and setting the commitments of the team.

  • Where are we with our Quarterly Objectives?

  • Did we complete what we committed to last week?

  • What are we committing to this week?

  • What problems or issues do we need to resolve?

It’s all about creating a bias toward action with the team.

For smaller teams, this meeting will include everyone.

For bigger teams, this meeting will be with the team leaders deciding the course of action for their team.

Daily Huddles

These are quick start-of-the-day check-ins.

  • How are you personally? Any wins to celebrate?

  • What are you focusing on today?

  • Do you have any blockers?

Daily Huddles create human connection and momentum, especially for remote teams.

The personal check-ins and sharing wins create a culture of gratitude and celebration.

The priorities and blockers check-in ensures everyone is aligned and getting the support they need.

Some teams do their Daily Huddles as a quick meeting, some will do them asynchronously in Slack.

Want the meeting agenda templates for each of these meetings?

I’m sharing the meeting templates my 1:1 clients get in my 20 Hour Founders Course.

Systematizing Your Way To Time Freedom

You might be thinking: this seems like a lot of meetings.

Let’s take a look at how much time this will cost you if you were to be in ALL of these meetings.

(I’m going to be generous with the amounts to include prep time.)

  • Vision & 1-Year Goals (4 hours = 2 hours per year)

  • Quarterly Objectives (4 hours = 16 hours per year)

  • Weekly 1:1’s with your Operator (1 hour = 52 hours per year)

  • Monthly Targets (2 hours = 24 hours per year)

  • Weekly Commitments (1 hour = 52 hours per year)

  • Daily Huddles (15 mins = 65 hours per year)

That’s a total of 211 hours of meetings per year.

Let’s add some time for ad-hoc meetings and round that up to 300 hours.

Compared to the 2000+ hours you’re spending a year “keeping the business running”, these 300 hours to keep the team aligned and focused on the strategic plan sounds pretty good.

Here’s where this gets juicy.

As a Visionary CEO, you can install this system and gradually work your way out of meetings you don’t want to be on.

Reducing the amount of time in meetings even further.

Install the system, create an effective agenda, and transfer ownership.

Then get back your time.

If you look at it, strategic decisions are made only in the first 3.

The latter 3 are more about implementation.

This means you can build the system and process for it and leverage yourself out because you’re not needed there.

Cutting that 300 hours down further to 70 hours a year.

70 hours a year working IN the business, the rest working ON your business.

How’s that sounding to you?

Now remember: this is a long-term play, not a sprint.

You’re not going to be able to remove yourself right away from all these meetings, especially if you’re at an earlier stage in business or have a small team.

This is about setting the vision for what’s possible and then installing the systems and processes in place to slowly get there.

Process & People will create time freedom for you.

But you need to have the right operational systems and processes in place.

And the right people to transfer ownership to.

Some key actionables for you:

  • Audit what meetings you’re doing and how much time you’re in them

  • Take this Strategic Meeting System as a template to design your own system

  • Start installing these meetings, and schedule them all a year in advance

  • Set up meeting agendas so each meeting is serving its purpose

  • When ready, slowly start transferring ownership to get out of meetings you don’t need to be on

Thanks for reading, I hope you found it helpful!

Your Pal,

Colin

P.S. Whenever you’re ready…

  1. I created some tools and resources here to help you take your business to the next level

  2. Want to dive deeper on how to become a time freedom Founder? I’m launching the 20 Hour Founders Course soon, get on the waitlist.

  3. Follow me on LinkedIn and Instagram for more tips on business and mindset growth

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