“Oh, what a productive meeting! I was 100% enthralled with all 60 minutes of that conference room gathering” …said no one ever. Most people seem to agree that meetings can be a huge drain on our productivity, and yet they continue to plague our workday. Try these tips to turn your meetings from obligatory time fillers to shining examples of efficiency.
If You’re The Meeting Planner…
Schedule shorter meetings. Having a written agenda, keeping people on topic, and avoiding lengthy rambling icebreakers can all help make a meeting shorter, but if you’ve scheduled an hour for only 10 minutes of information, you’ll find a way to fill that extra time. If your meetings are usually an hour, try scheduling one for 30 minutes. If they are usually 30 minutes, try 15. Restricting your available time forces people to be brief and also respects everyone’s schedule.
If You’re a Meeting Attendee
It’s easy to recognize when other meeting attendees are wasting everyone’s time by veering off track and speaking just for the sake of speaking, but sometimes it’s hard to recognize when we’ve become that person! Before you interject, ask yourself: “Is this related to the agenda? Is it a question that will pertain to anyone else in the room?” If the answer is “No,” save it for another time.
Notice one of the self-questions isn’t “Is this important?” Just because something is important doesn’t mean it belongs in the meeting. That’s the purpose of an agenda – to determine which important things will be discussed right now.
Meetings don’t have to be a waste of time. Just keep your collaborations on track and to the point and everyone will leave happy.
Connect with The Time Diet for more time management tips!