We benefit today by having an abundance of technology in the workplace that should be making us more productive. For example, with the help of an electronic calendar and e-communication tools, we can start a meeting with anyone anywhere in the world with the simple click of a button. But has this technology gotten us into a state of meeting overload?
According to a recent Salary.com survey, nearly half of today’s employees see meetings as the biggest time waster or distraction at work. However, you can change this mentality by embracing these six best practices to improve the productivity of your next meeting:
The majority of meetings begin with a background and end with the most important part: the desired outcomes. By the time the last 10 minutes of the meeting roll around, many people have checked out, both literally and mentally. By flipping your agenda and leading with the desired outcomes, you’ll have your most critical information heard first.
Use an agenda to keep the meeting on task and outline actionable steps. Send the agenda to meeting participants ahead of time, and refer to the agenda throughout the meeting. Address each item and identify the actions and owners for each of those tasks before moving on.
After the meeting, send out a quick email to participants to recap the person responsible for taking care of each action and the due date for each task.
Don’t feel guilty about leaving anyone out of your meetings. By limiting your meetings to include only participants that need to be there, you’ll be more productive with your time.
When designing a meeting around action, encourage participants to stand. When people stand, they will be more focused and efficient. Research shows that stand-up meetings move 25 percent faster and participants arrive at decisions 34 percent sooner.
Even if you block out an hour for your meeting, you should be able to accomplish your objectives within 50 minutes. Ending your meeting early will give participants the time to review items and ask questions if needed.
Use these best practices to help you be more strategic when conducting meetings and realize productivity gains.
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