How to Reduce Time in Meetings
Few things can boost your productivity more than cutting down on the amount of time you spend in meetings. If you want to buy yourself a few extra minutes (or hours) each day to work on important priorities this is an area to focus on.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Make the meetings that you run be 30 minutes rather than one hour whenever possible. You would be surprised how efficient everyone becomes when they know they have to get through the agenda but have less time.
- Insist that people take irrelevant, off-topic or non-group items offline to talk about after the meeting. Don’t allow them to waste everyone’s time discussing something that is not relevant to everyone else during the meeting.
- Take notes during the meeting on your laptop and keep a running list of decisions and action items. Mail this out before you leave the meeting room if at all possible.
- If there is a meeting with a large number of items to cover that don’t need your involvement ask if the group minds if they cover your items first so that you can leave the meeting earlier.
- State and get agreement for the rules for meetings you run and ones you participate in. Let everyone know that there is a five minute grace period maximum. If people are late publicly humiliate them. Or better yet, assign them some action items. 🙂
- Bring donuts to morning meetings – you’ll be surprised how many people show up on time in order to get their favorite kind. This is especially good for meetings with your engineers.
If you follow all of these guidelines and make a point of being diligent about it you will likely free up several hours during your week. This may be just what you need in order to be able to spend time thinking strategically or focus on being more of a leader in your role.