Meetings can be a tricky affair. Some meetings last ten minutes, while some can last for hours discussing issues that are completely unrelated to the topic at hand. The meetings that drag on may not be good for overall productivity as your team may find it hard to pay attention and feel drained after an exhausting meeting.
Today, we zoom in on how you can keep your meeting in under one hour to ensure your team stays focused and ready to tackle the next big project!
- Brief everyone before the meeting
Preparation is key in ensuring everyone gets to say their piece in good time. With an early notice on topics and ideas to tackle, all attendees get some time to reflect and pen down their thoughts. This will also help to reduce the amount of questions surrounding a project, as those who are not clear can ask you way before the meeting starts.
- Plan for actionable steps to all agendas
Everyone should be walking out knowing what the entire team is planning to do. Come up with a checklist and assign the right people to the job. Set a time frame or assign someone to keep track to ensure everyone has all their hands and heads in the meeting.
- Specify an end time
Cut off all agendas at a pre-set time to ensure only what is important is addressed. If something urgent comes up, allow some leeway but give everyone a quick breather before continuing past the due time. (Pro tip: Have your meeting an hour before lunch. Everyone will be hungry enough to wrap things up quickly!)
- Do not throw a party
A meeting should not have more than 10 people at a time, unless it is one that involves the entire company. Invite key decision makers in each department to represent their teams and brief them after. Topics that are too far from the agenda should be addressed after the meeting, and communications should be focused on the listed tasks.
- Track your timing
Meetings need to be time sensitive for the benefit of all attendees. Delegate a timekeeper to prompt you once the meeting is halfway through and another time ten minutes before it ends for any additional thoughts. When pressed for time, what is important and urgent will have to be tackled first.
Remember, your goal is for everyone to leave with answers, not more questions. Good luck with planning your next productive meeting!