Technology at its best should make our lives more efficient. Our devices are supposed to enhance our productivity, especially when it comes to meetings. We have electronic calendars, email to confirm dates, and tools that allow us to meet anyone, anywhere, anytime.
So it’s no surprise we’re spending all of our times in meetings! Has technology made it too easy to meet?
A recent survey by Salary.com found that 47% of workers view meetings as the biggest time waster of their day.
Here are five tips to make meetings more productive:
- Strategically Invite Attendees – We’re often afraid to leave anyone out, so we invite people that just don’t need to be there. Tools like video conferencing make it easy to over-invite. Limit participation to the key players.
- Create an Agenda – Meetings with agendas result in actionable steps. Forward the agenda to participants ahead of time and solicit suggestions. This revised agenda will keep meetings focused and productive. Keep it productive, identify points, create action steps and move on.
- Track Steps and Progress – Upon completion of the meeting, forward all participants a recap that includes action steps, responsibilities and deadlines. This can help you to track a project’s progress and keeps team members who didn’t attend (and didn’t need to!) informed.
- Consider a Stand-Up Meeting – Meetings are about action, sitting is passive! When possible conduct a stand-up meeting if goals and topics allow it. According to a Brandeis University study, they also run 25% faster, and result in decisions 34% sooner.
- Give Attendees a Surprise Ending! – End your meetings 10 minutes early. Instead of taking a full hour, wrap it up in 50 minutes. This can give participants that need clarification, or have questions time to get answers. For others, it’s an unexpected 10 minute break in their day to grab a cup of coffee, or take a quick walk. Get into this practice and you can be sure that at your next meeting everyone will be on time!
24-hour connectivity and collaborative technologies have bred more meetings. Try taking a more strategic approach when planning and running your next meeting and you can turn it into the most productive time of your workday!