Debbie Rodrigues | Oct 1, 2018 | 0
How To Avoid Too Many Meetings For Efficiency
To get your work done, you need to avoid too many meetings. Learn how to be more productive with these 10 tips.
It’s so easy to get caught in too many meetings, isn’t it?
In the past, we had to be able to meet in person to have a meeting.
Depending on the kind of job and position, it’d imply traveling, extra costs, etc.
Then, it came conference call, messaging, video call…
Nowadays, we can “meet” people anywhere, anytime.
And how many abuse of it!
The problem about meetings
There’s nothing bad about meetings themselves.
Sitting down with people (physically or virtually) can save a lot of time, email exchange, and headaches.
Still, it doesn’t mean we should attend countless meetings just for the sake of busYness.
In most cases, when we find ourselves “chatting” more than doing the work, we also experience:
- lack of organization
- lack of leadership
Meetings play an important role in any relationship.
It’s a lot simpler to clarify goals and differences by talking whether it’s:
- at work (with peers or management)
- in your business (with suppliers, accountant, partner…)
- at home (with your kids, spouse, gardener…)
But if those meetings are being used as an excuse to avoid work, then “Houston, we have a problem.”
Lack of organization
When there’s no structure, we may end up calling extra meetings with our peers and partners because:
- roles and responsibilities weren’t clear from the beginning
- people don’t know what they’re supposed to do
- milestones haven’t been set
Little things that could be avoided with some preparation in advance.
Lack of leadership
Being a leader is more than having a job title.
It’s necessary that someone, for better or worse, assumes the responsibility for the planning and execution of the steps of any project.
Otherwise, it becomes chaos.
Avoiding too many meetings
The best way to avoid too many meetings is by taking the most advantage of one’s scheduled.
Why having to sit together 2 or 3 when all you really need is one well-planned, efficient, and effective meeting?
Below you find 10 tips to make your meetings more productive:
- Define the meeting’s objectives in advance.
- Invite only essential participants.
- Start on time.
- Set clear house rules.
- Track time.
- Make everyone accountable.
- Avoid distractions.
- Limit conversation to meaningful topics.
- Focus on action points.
- Keep it short.
1. Define the meeting’s objectives in advance
Let your invitees know what they’re expected beforehand.
Make your topics clear and tell them what you’ll need from them.
Don’t assume that “everyone should know it.” It’s safer to inform them to manage expectations.
2. Invite only essential participants
It’s a meeting, not a party.
You don’t have your kids with you when making important decisions about the budget with your spouse, do you?
The same approach goes for professional meetings.
Invite only key people and make them responsible for sharing relevant information with their peers.
3. Start on time
Being timely shows how much you value your schedule and the time of all participants.
Get ready between 5 to 15 minutes in advance, depending on the type of meeting.
If you’ll be late because of last-minute delays, let others know it asap.
They also can use the extra time to catch up with other matters.
4. Set clear house rules
Simple requests that can help you have productive meetings are:
- turn off mobiles
- no chatting
- no laptop
When you’re able to host efficient meetings, everyone will have plenty of time to deal with other matters afterwards.
There’s no room for multitasking in effectiveness.
5. Track time
Make sure there’s someone keeping track of time from the moment the meeting begins.
This will put some healthy pressure on participants to stay focused for the duration of the conversation.
The timekeeper needs to be someone who isn’t afraid of calling to order if necessary.
6. Make everyone accountable
While the “leader” is responsible for guiding the progress of the meeting, they can’t do it all alone.
Having all participants interact increases accountability and creates an environment open for discussion.
7. Avoid distractions
Depending on the type of meeting, different house rules are defined to make sure everyone stays focused.
For virtual meetings, making the use of camera mandatory is an excellent option.
8. Limit conversation to meaningful topics
If you want to break the ice with an informal conversation among participants, do it BEFORE the meeting starts.
Once the timer is started, be all business.
Taking a break once the meeting is over is a lot more pleasant and productive.
9. Focus on action points
Meetings should be about agreeing on things to do.
All participants must leave it knowing exactly what’s expected from them next time.
10. Keep it short
Short attention span is a reality for most of us.
Prolonging a meeting for too long will only cause participants to lose focus and interest.
Hosting successful meetings
Depending on the goals and on the participants, some of the tips above may or may not apply.
However, keep in mind that meetings are meant to boost productivity, not to kill it.
If you aren’t the one responsible for hosting the meetings, don’t hesitate to provide helpful feedback.
Great leaders will be glad to listen to positive feedback.
Would like more tips on how to have successful meetings? Join our challenge today.Discover how to avoid too many meetings to be more successful. #coaching Click To Tweet
52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You
I’m hosting a 52-week productivity challenge on my closed Facebook Group.
You can read everything about the challenge here.
How the 52-week productivity challenge works
First of all, grab a copy of the list [ninja-popup ID=11356]52 Things That Are Killing Your Productivity[/ninja-popup].
After signing up, you’ll be invited to join my closed Facebook group.
On the group, I’ll share daily prompts during the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You.
I’ll guide you through a brand-new topic each week.
From Monday through Friday, you’ll learn how you can use Mindful Planning™ to:
- Become more efficient
- Save time
- Manage stress
- Achieve your goals
You can start the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You at any moment of the year.
And you choose whether to follow every single week or to focus on your personal pain points.
If you miss anything, you can always refer to older posts for catch-up or review.
Why you need to host fewer meetings. #coaching #MindfulPlanning Click To Tweet
All that FOR FREE!
See you at the challenge
The method I apply to the challenge is exactly the same one I use with my clients: Mindful Planning™.
It’s a 5-step method you can use to all aspects of your life become more productive one day at a time without added stress.
Come and join the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You today.
I’m looking forward guiding you towards a successful year and beyond!