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5 Ways to Be Sure You Won’t Waste Meeting Time

making the most of meeting time

Meetings can be dreaded wastes of time for many businesses. You set out to meet for a specific reason, and that reason does not always get acknowledged or resolved. Here are a few tricks you can implement to make sure meetings go effectively so that you can get back to doing what needs to be done.

1. Have an odd start time.

Make the start time of your meeting an odd time, something like10:37 AM . This creates a greater sense of urgency, as there is no question about when the meeting starts. When you meet at a time like 10:00 AM, people will typically show up a few minutes after the hour, delaying the start and pushing time back for everyone else. When you schedule it for 10:37 AM, people will show up at 10:37 AM, or clearly be late.

2. Record minutes.

Ensure that a team member is recording meeting minutes so that you have a complete breakdown of your meeting, with no need to go back or reconvene. This is also effective because no ideas will slip by unaccounted for, you can always go back to review the meeting later. The person recording can also have a firm hold on if the meeting is staying on track.

3. Designate roles.

Designate roles to people on your team so that everyone knows what they are responsible to contribute or put forth. This ensures that a meeting goes smoothly, like a machine with many moving parts. Instead of everyone speaking out to contribute, there will be designated roles. This is especially helpful when there is someone to lead the meeting and guide it, and someone to be responsible for keeping with the agenda.

4. Remove extraneous conversation.

We know it can be hard, you think of something slightly related and want to branch into other points of conversation, but if you are at a meeting for a specific purpose, no one wants their time to be taken up by additional subject matter. It’s important to stay on task, so be conscious of and make an effort to squash extraneous conversation and ideas or irrelevant topics. If you have to designate someone to do this, it may prove to be effective for your team.

5. Create an agenda mapped out with topics for discussion.

The easiest way to stay on track is to go into a meeting with an agenda that has been mapped out with the important pieces, like a guideline. Stick to it, and your points will be efficiently communicated. By mapping out topics ahead of time instead of hoping for direction and suggestion from people in the meeting, you may better find a resolution.

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