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What You Can Do About Unproductive Meetings in The New Year

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Would it surprise you to know that businesses waste billions of dollars every year on unproductive meetings?

Start by putting your best foot forward and check out these tips to make your meetings more productive!

Stick a “pin” in conversations that will take your meeting off-track.

Even the best planned meetings can run off-course.  If you notice the conversation veering off into a different or new direction, stick a “pin” in it to discuss at the end of the meeting or for a new meeting at a later time.  This will help you stay on task, on topic and achieve your meeting goals.

Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes.

Work expands to fill the time you schedule for it ~ Parkinson’s Law.  This means if you give yourself an hour to complete a 10 minute task, then the task will take an hour to complete.  The same science applies to meetings.

Research on attention spans indicate that shorter meetings can be more effective.  10 to 18 minutes is the average amount of time most people can pay attention before their minds wander. Not surprisingly, this is also the length of great TED talks.  So, set a timer.  When it rings, the meeting is over.

Only invite the people that need to be there.

Limit meeting invitations to only those essential to the topic at hand to avoid unnecessary distraction and keep non-essential employees forging ahead on other tasks.

Have an agenda.

Having a plan of action or agenda will help keep you on task as well as set expectations for those who attend.

Start and end on time.

Everyone’s time is valuable including your own.  Harvard Business Review explains “Latecomers who find that the meeting has begun without them soon learn the lesson. The alternative is that the prompt and punctual members will soon realize that a meeting never starts until ten minutes after the advertised time, and they will also learn the lesson.”

Have some tips on creating more productive meetings?  Share them in the comments below!

Nichole Schlecht

Nichole Schlecht, Digital Marketing Consultant, MaestroConference

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