Are you finding it difficult to get your work done because you have a lot of meetings during the day? Watch this video for tips on how to spend less time in meetings.
In order to spend less time in meetings, always ask yourself whether a meeting is the best way to get the outcome that you want. Schedule shorter meetings to get to the point and always send an agenda.
Alright let’s talk about meeting etiquette. Have your meeting requests increased since the start of the pandemic? Have you had days filled with back to back meetings?
Then you’re having to work late to actually get stuff done. Or maybe you’ve sat in meetings and 5 minutes in you’re thinking “I didn’t really need to be in this meeting.”
I think some of you will agree pandemic or not that perhaps we need to spend less time in meetings! Here are a couple of tips to curb this meeting addiction.
First before scheduling any meeting ask yourself what the purpose of the meeting is? If you don’t have a purpose don’t schedule it – period. If it has a purpose, then ask yourself is a meeting really the best way to get to this outcome?
Consider other options, for example, email. Can you send an email and get the outcome that you want, or is it possible to invite people to a shared document where they can just add in your thoughts? Do you really need a meeting?
A meeting shouldn’t be the only solution to achieve the outcome that you want. Now I know some of you are extroverts and, you know, being around people and bouncing off ideas gives you that energy, but understand that some people aren’t like that so respect that.
Second, if you must schedule a meeting, keep it as short as possible. Our attention spans are getting lower and lower, as humans. I read somewhere that actually, the British attention span is about 14 minutes. So 14 minutes before people completely zone out when you’re talking.
I have also found out that Ted Talks, are usually 18 minutes or less. Because it’s long enough to hit home the important points, but it’s also short enough to keep people’s attention.
So think TED Talks when you’re planning meetings. Avoid scheduling meetings that last over 30minutes, unless it’s one of those long strategy planning sessions where you actually do need a lot more time.
When it’s 15 to 30 minutes, it creates a sense of urgency and people know that they do need to get to their point and quick.
I know a woman who actually kept all her meetings to 15 minutes, so she always told people beforehand what the meeting was about so at the meeting the discussion was on how to move forward based on what she’d already told them.
Which brings me nicely to my next point, always have an agenda. Tell people what the meeting is about and also put in some talking points before the discussion.
That way you’re talking about one thing at a time. And then once everyone has given their opinion on that thing, you can move on to the next thing.
If it’s a new idea and you just want to brainstorm with people then tell them. That way they can come prepared to the meeting and tell you their ideas because you’ve already told them that it’s a brainstorming session.
Lastly, keep the invite list short, I bet you’ve had many times where you’ve sat in meetings and 10 minutes in you’re thinking “Why am I in this meeting?” and then you’re thinking about all the things you could be doing rather than being in the meeting.
And that’s not fun. So, save people’s diaries. Before you invite someone to a meeting, ask, do they really need to be in that meeting?
Could I just send them an email afterward telling them what happened in the meeting? If so, don’t invite them to the meeting.
So there you have it! Before you send your next meeting invite, ask yourself, do I really need to book this meeting.? And if you must, keep it short.
15 to 30 minutes only, invite people that need to be there and send an agenda. Have you got any meeting tips? Drop them in the comments.