One Great Way to Make Meetings Better
Ever sit down after work and wonder what you actually did all day? Even worse, are you ever eager to get home from work so you can finally start to get some work done because you have just been bouncing from one meeting to the next? This week we take a look at how you can say no to meetings to increase workplace productivity and decrease stress.
One of the biggest time bandits at work has been and continues to be meetings. Prior to email, instant messaging, and the multitude of other means of communicating and sharing information, meetings were the most efficient way to get everyone on the same page. Picture an episode from Mad Men, pulling the entire team into the office or conference room to discuss projects, set timelines, and create updates to be sent to the client.
Even though we now communicate directly with our colleagues, leaders, clients, and customers through email or programs such as Slack, Smartsheet, or Basecamp, meetings are still taking up a large portion of the day. While they may not be in a conference room, but instead on a conference call or Zoom, they are eating up precious hours that could be used for more productive work.
The most common meeting is the Monday morning status meeting. This is where you gather the team together to make sure everyone is clear on the objectives for the week. It is only one hour designed to liberate many hours of checking in throughout the week. However, in reality, you are not just losing one hour of productivity for team members to present a five-minute update and listen to everyone else’s updates (which is something that can be managed using an online platform such as MS Project, Trello, or a simple shared Google Doc). Instead, you are losing one-hour times however many people are in the meeting.
There are times when a meeting is necessary. A great way to maximize the time spent is to have a specific reason, agenda, or goals for the meeting. The person calling the meeting should share any information beforehand, such as an outline for an idea they are pitching, or research on how a new technique can increase revenue. Each attendee is required to review the materials prior to the meeting so they have time to digest the information.
Approaching meetings in this manner ensures the presenter has all of the information organized ahead of time so they are prepared. It also gives those in attendance time to be ready to listen and make a decision. All of this preparation for both the presenter and attendees creates a more productive environment where questions are better thought out and ideas are not shot down immediately because people do not feel that they have enough time to think about the concept, change, etc.
Next time you get ready to set up a meeting, think about the exponential time lost and determine if the information or collaboration can be accomplished in another manner. If not, put together a targeted agenda that is sent to everyone ahead of time and includes all the necessary information. This way you can have a productive meeting that increases efficiency and minimizes time lost.
Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent. Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates. To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.