A productive meeting is your responsibility

By johannatime On July 10, 2015 Under Productivity vs Procrastination

Do you like meetings? If you don’t, that’s probably because you think they are a waste of time. For a busy professional, meetings cause two problems: 1) they take time from you schedule and 2) you get more to do’s on your list. Therefore, they’d better be worth your while. Do you blame the chairperson? Here’s what you can, no, should do in any meeting, in every meeting.

Schedule properly

It may have already gone wrong in your calendar. Don’t schedule meetings back to back, that’s silly. Allow travel time before, and processing time after a meeting. It will cost you less time than not doing that. If you dare, plan to be early and bring a small task to complete while you wait for whoever is late.

Come prepared

Needless to say, but if you come prepared you waste less time. Know what is on the agenda and decide what you want to achieve. That may include having a one on one chat with other participants. Let them know so they can prepare for it, too, and save both of you an extra meeting. You’d be surprised how quickly things can be sorted if time is limited. If there is nothing substantial for you to bring to or get from a meeting, consider not going, you’ll only be in other people’s way.

Help the chair

Listening to nonsense is a waste of time. Talking nonsense, too. So make sure to make sense of what is said. Ask about purpose, goals and desired outcomes. It forces the speaker to explain themselves and if it is you who does the talking, it helps you to bring your message across. However, discussing purpose, goals and outcomes is still pointless if no action is taken. So for productivity’s sake, ask about the next action and decide who’s responsible for it.

Take notes, process notes

In every meeting, stuff comes up that will need your action, or at least your attention. This can be related to the issues on the agenda, or to random thoughts. In order for you to keep focussing on the meeting, capture this stuff. Then after the meeting, take some time as soon as possible, to process your notes, too. This works exactly the same as e-mail processing by the way.

Meetings are part of office culture. Without question, they recur weekly or when things are stuck. Apply the above if you are called to a meeting, or things stay stuck. Do you enjoy a productive meeting? What are your tricks to make them work? Please share in the comments below:

Johanna Jansen


1 Trackback

  1. There will always be 7 days of 24 hours | Time Mine
    August 10, 2015 11:03 AM

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