Microsoft’s annual study of workplace-productivity trends provides the latest, and one of the largest, measures of how people actually spend their workdays. The researchers found that 25% of their most active users of its apps—in other words, people who use Microsoft’s business software for much of their online work activity—spent an average of 7.5 hours logging meetings.
That’s close to one full day a week in scheduled meetings. A fifth or 20% of your time! To make matters worse, Airgram reports that two-thirds of your meetings are considered to be unproductive!
You can increase your odds of having more productive meetings by:
- Upon receipt of the invitation, clarify the objective. Do you even need to attend?
- Review the agenda prior to the meeting. I have a client who says, “No agenda; no attenda!”
- Prepare for the meeting. Review the prework materials, slides, reports etc. The meeting should NOT be a presentation of the prework. (Recap or summary is okay, but the point of the meeting is to have a discussion about the relevant topics, issues, concerns, etc.)
- Follow the agenda as published. This part is a team sport – whether it is the leader, facilitator, timekeeper, or recorder, all should endeavor to keep the meeting on track to achieving the desired deliverables.
- Finish with a call to action. Who is going to do what by when.
Follow these five strategies and you’ll see your meetings be much more productive!