Give yourself time back and make your Outlook meetings shorter

Embrace giving yourself time back in your day. ❤️

Jamf has this wonderful all-company gathering every year called Subzero. The entire company comes together, virtually or otherwise, and reflects on the previous year and plans for the year to come. This year we were joined by Erica Dhawan for a fantastic conversation around teamwork, collaboration, and innovation.

I think a lot about meetings… maybe because I'm in so many of them these days. 😅In particular, I think about video meetings now that so many of us work remotely. I work 100% remotely now, from my home, and my days can pretty easily get stacked with back to back meetings. Finding time for bio breaks, refilling my water bottle, and other things like that can feel tricky.

When I was working out of an office I could fill my water bottle on the way to my next meeting. There's something about online meetings that make you feel like you have to be "on" the whole time, to show accountability. Or whatever. I think you know what I mean.

Something I've found really helpful is changing Outlook's default meeting length to shorter timespans to build in breaks between meetings. This is kind of like how the classes in school are often 50 minutes instead of an hour to make sure students have time to walk to their next class. 

Gmail has this capability built in, which I'm used to from previous organizations I've worked for. Outlook has this too, but it's not in the Mac client. Boo. However! You can find it in the Outlook web app. Digging into the Outlook settings online can be a bit of a bear, so here's a quick link:

Outlook online Events and invitations settings

On that screen is a checkbox to "Shorten duration for all events." If you check that box, you'll see options for ending events early. (If you're a punk rock time kid like me, you can also start events late. 🙃) You can then choose options for meetings less than an hour and over an hour.

Once you make your selections in the Outlook web app and save, those settings will be picked up by your Mac Outlook client.

Embrace giving yourself time back in your day. ❤️

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