Meetings Can be a Huge Productivity Drain

Meetings have become a huge productivity drain for many. In some organizations there seems to be meetings about meetings. Before you schedule a meeting or accept another meeting request, make certain the time spent in the conference room will be the best use of time.

Keep reading to learn how to avoid death by meeting and take back control of your calendar.


Meetings Can be a Huge Productivity Drain

If it seems that nothing on your daily and weekly plan is getting done, take a look at your calendar. How many meetings are on it? Face-to-face meetings are important, but like everything in life, only in moderation. Many times, a well-thought-out email can eliminate the need to assemble in a conference room. If meetings are necessary, the time and length of meeting will determine how effective the time spent together will be.

The Monday morning staff meeting can be the biggest reason why many people have acase of the “Mondays”. While it may seem best to start the week strategizing projects and deadlines, Monday morning is not necessarily the best time to do so. The optimal time to have a staff meeting is Tuesday afternoons at 3pm. This allows team members to tie up any loose ends from the week before and get a handle on what needs to be completed in the current week. Moving the weekly staff meeting to Tuesday will leave everyone better prepared and the time will be much more productive.

When planning a meeting, be mindful of the duration. Studies show people can stay engaged for approximately 18 minutes. Keep meetings under 30 minutes. To keep the meeting on track, send out an agenda ahead of time so everyone can prepare any necessary materials. Walking and standing meetings are a great way to keep everyone alert and engaged. Having meetings this way will also increase productivity while decreasing stress and sedentary effects.

Many times meetings are scheduled or spontaneously occur for the sole purpose of making a decision. In most industries, there are many decisions that teams can be empowered to make on their own. Create a standard for the most common decisions made to help guide key staff members in the decision-making process. If a meeting is needed to make a decision, plan it early in the morning or after lunch. The best decisions are made on a full stomach.

Finally, just because a meeting request is meeting request has been made, does not mean that it needs to be accepted. If the reason for the meeting is not clear, ask the organizer. Many times a quick phone conversation or email can be more productive than time spent in a conference room.


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