2 proven ways to stop wasting time in meetings

“The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions” - Patrick Lencioni

The Number 1 complaint I get from busy workers is they waste too much time in meetings. It doesn’t matter whether they’re face to face meetings or virtual meetings, workers don't have enough time to actually do their job. Does this happen to you?

How many hours are you involved in meetings each week and what percentage of the meetings are effective?

Ineffective meetings happen when they:

  • Start late
  • Have no agenda or purpose
  • Someone just hogs the time
  • No-one is prepared
  • No decisions were made and nothing was agreed

It’s little wonder 91% of people admit to daydreaming in meetings and 73% actually do other work during meetings.

Before attending any meeting there are 3 things you need to know:

  • What’s the purpose of the meeting?
  • Is there an agenda?
  • What's your role?

If you’re unable to answer these 3 questions then maybe you shouldn't be attending the meeting.

There are many strategies that can be applied to transform and improve meetings and meeting culture. Two proven strategies are:

1.  Meeting duration

A way to reduce the time in meetings is to just physically reduce the duration of meetings. In other words, cut 60 minute meetings down to 45 minutes and 45 minute meetings down to 30 minutes. By doing this the time required in meetings will be reduced and attendees will be more focused on what's important to the meeting.

2.  Meeting purpose

A big problem is too many meetings are just status update meetings. It’s little wonder there are few decisions made during meetings. A better way is to agree to protocols of how status updates will be communicated before the meeting. That way meetings can be flipped and run as action orientated meetings. By doing this focus will be driven towards what needs to be done, who will do it and when it will be done.

Meeting culture is at the heart of how individuals collaborate as teams. Get it right and your team will achieve outcomes in less time.