7 Tips to Spend 50% Less Time on Meetings and Make Them 100% More Productive
Yuliya Skorobogatova 9 December 2016
Time management is one of the most important processes that every business owner should pay attention to because time is money and spending too much time on specific activities can lead to a decrease in efficiency, productivity and, most importantly, effectiveness.
When you think about how much time you spend on business meetings in one work week, are you completely satisfied with both the time spent and the results that come out of those meetings or are you overwhelmed and stressed out because you just cannot seem to manage your time effectively and complete your every task efficiently? If the latter is your case, here’s what you can do to spend half the time you usually do on your meetings and ensure that they are much more productive.
1. Start and Finish on Time
Time is literally of the essence when it comes to running a business, because you must be able to make sure your every business operation runs smoothly, so that you don’t fall behind schedule and miss any deadline. Missing deadlines will definitely not paint the picture of a professional, not to mention that you could risk losing your clients.
Therefore, you should always start your meetings on time because, if you don’t, you will already be behind schedule and your entire work day will not be a productive one. Just as important as starting your meetings on time is finishing them on time and the two go hand in hand.
If you manage to do that, not only will you manage your time effectively, but you will also show that you value the time of your entire workforce. As a result, your employees will become more productive and they will actually want to contribute to the success of your company.
2. Ban Distractions
Distractions, such as mobile phones, iPads, tablets or any other tech gadgets, should be strictly banned from your meetings because, after all, they distract. Social media notifications, push notifications, SMSs, emails, and many other alerts – the phones don’t stop buzzing. How can you hold an effective meeting that won’t last for hours on end if the attendees keep looking down at their phones?
Everyone should turn off their phones and other gadgets during your every meeting. Only then you will have everyone’s full attention, which will undoubtedly result in their increased productivity and, thus, your day-to-day operations will be much more efficient, leading to actual benefits.
3. Set the Agenda for Every Meeting and Stick to It
You need to carefully prepare the agenda for your every meeting, so that you can be certain that everything of importance will be covered and you don’t miss anything. When you set your agenda, you should send it to the meeting attendees 24 hours before the meeting takes place, because it can help them get a sense of direction and prepare for the meeting.
Also, make sure that you stick to your agenda, so that you don’t leave anyone confused and, more importantly, so that your meeting doesn’t take longer than it should, because the productivity within your company would be negatively affected otherwise.
4. Try Holding the Stand-Up Meeting
Many companies are adapting stand-up meetings more and more, because they turn out to be very effective, while seeming like casual meetings where you, perhaps, drink coffee or tea with your team members before actually starting your work day.
Stand-up meetings are usually held while everyone is actually standing up but, of course, you can adjust them any way you would like and give your own personal touch. They are short and the main reason for holding them is to share status updates and delegate tasks for the day.
Therefore, try and hold daily stand-up meetings where every attendee will participate equally. You can use a whiteboard, for instance, or a board with post-its, so that everyone can have a clear overview of what they need to do.
5. Make Sure Everyone Contributes
Many business meetings are ineffective because not every attendee actually participates. Extroverts tend to be those who ask all the questions and share the most ideas, while introverts tend to seem disengaged.
You should encourage everyone to participate equally and to feel free to ask anything regarding the daily agenda. More importantly, encourage them to share ideas, because you never know when someone may come up with an incredible breakthrough that could be of great significance for your company.
6. End a Meeting with a Clear Agreement on the Next Steps
If you end a meeting without clearly stating what everyone needs to do next, all you end up with will be confused employees who have no idea about what they should do. Not only will your meeting be a complete waste of valuable time, but you will also need to hold another meeting to discuss everything you already had.
In order to use your time efficiently and for your every meeting to be quite productive, make sure that you end each and every one of your meetings with a clear agreement on everything that needs to be done next and your employees will certainly be able to follow up and know what to do.
7. Centralize the Content
You should make sure the participants of your meetings have access to the outcome of every single meeting they attend, so that they have a clear insight into the necessary content. You can do that by using a Document Management Solution, which will enable you to centralize your content, that is, create a central database for your content that will be available to anyone involved in your projects.
These tips are guaranteed to help you spend a lesser amount of time on your meetings, while making them 100% more productive, so make sure you start applying them right away.
Bitrix24 is a free online project management solution with unlimited projects, tasks and subtasks. It comes with time tracking, task automation workflows, Gantt chart, document management and task collaboration tools, such as group chat and video conferencing. Use promocode TIP10 when registeringyour free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB.