Have you ever sat through a meeting and thought to yourself, “this is a waste of my time”? If so, you’re likely not alone.
Various research has found (see Hub Spot, The Muse or Fast Company) that an employee can spend 30 to even 50 percent of his or her work day in meetings. That’s 12 to 20 hours a week; leaving only a little over half of the standard work week to actually accomplish tasks.
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Fuze recently created an infographic (see below) that outlines ways to kill useless meetings. As we near the end of the year and start thinking about 2016, the infographic was a great reminder to analyze my own calendar and reflect on what meetings were valuable and those not so much.
Conference calls or in-person meetings are great ways to check-in on projects, discuss strategy or upcoming activities. Although, when there are too many meetings on a calendar that hold no true purpose, it leaves workers pressed for time to actually complete necessary tasks.
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To ensure you’re using your time wisely, let’s review a few tips on executing an effective meeting:
1) Why Are You Meeting?
To hold an effective meeting, there must be a clear objective to why you’re getting together. Define the meeting purpose ahead of time so that all participants can arrive prepared. Choose meeting participants wisely so that each person knows their role and what they are expected to bring to the table.
2) Create An Agenda & Stick To It
Keep people focused by having a clear outline of what will be discussed during the call or status. Email materials to participants ahead of time and ensure the agenda is visible at the meeting. If attendees begin to stray off topic, reign the conversation back to the appropriate matter at hand.
3) Set Hard Start & Stop Times
Your time is valuable and so is that of your colleagues. If you exude this mentality when running a meeting, your colleagues will have a greater respect for attending and actively participating in gatherings. By promptly starting and ending a meeting, attendees will assume a heighten awareness for time, helping to keep everyone on task and engaged.
4) Mitigate Distractions
Cell phones, email and computers breed distractions in meetings. By eliminating technology not needed to run the meeting, you’ll likely get the full attention of your colleagues, rather than risk losing them to multi-tasking.
5) Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities, & Follow Up
As the meeting wraps, make sure each person knows their delegated task and due-dates. Within 24 hours, follow up via email with a meeting recap to reduce the risk of mixed interpretations of what was accomplished.
Seven Hacks To Kill Useless Meetings Infographic
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