We’re in the middle of a meeting epidemic. Executives now spend an average of 23 hours a week in meetings, with 71 percent reporting that those meetings are generally unproductive and inefficient.
Despite their drawbacks, meetings remain an integral part of any modern workplace. The rise of office silos and remote workers make regular check-ins an absolute must for keeping everyone on the same page. Meetings aren’t going away anytime soon, so how can we work to cut down on their time and productivity drains?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question. While it’s impossible to take one simple step to eliminate meeting waste, you can start considering your meetings not as routines, but as investments. Instead of regularly planning and attending meetings thoughtlessly, think beforehand about how you can get the greatest ROI on the time you spend effectively meeting with others.
If you’re looking to put an end to endless meetings and start having productive meetings in your workplace, here are a few places to start:
1. Optimize Your Meetings in Advance
The single biggest cause of meeting overload isn’t ingrained habits or bad office policy; it’s bad meetings. Most meetings begin without any agenda to speak of, and directionless meetings are hardly meetings at all.
A meeting that accomplishes nothing is bound to simply lead to more meetings down the line. You can put an end to this cycle by scheduling valuable, productive meetings for your team.
Start by focusing on the purpose of a meeting. Every meeting you have should be necessary for your success, as well as your business’s and employees’ success. Moreover, meetings that cover too many topics or areas are likely to go over their planned time and alienate participants.
Remember, productive meetings only last as long as they absolutely need to. To train yourself to shorten meetings, you can use tools like “speedy meetings” if you learn more about google calendar. This allows you to automatically shorten your scheduled meetings by five minutes so you have time to get things done in between meetings.