Day 80: Shortening work meetings
We have all been involved in meetings in one way or another.
But when we are doing really long meetings why do we have that feeling of wasting our time?
Not just the participants but the organiser also.
The reason is simple
Meetings were designed to bring people together.
When you waste people’s time, the opposite happens.
Here are my top tips in keeping meetings short!
1. Have an agenda
Always have a plan of what will be discussed in the meeting.
This is crucial, and follow it point by point.
A maximum of 3 points should be the rule for a good meeting.
2. Have a timekeeper
Each point in your meeting should have a specific timeslot allocated to it.
Point 1: 10 minute
Point 2: 15 minutes
Point 3: 5 minutes
Once we are exceeding one of the points, stop the person talking immediately.
And go to the next item.
You can still reserve another slot for a dedicated meeting later.
3. Keep it short
A meeting should be 15 minutes long if it is about a very urgent matter.
For me, meeting length is dependent on criticality.
Why? Because after the urgent matter, when everyone knows what he has to do.
Well, you got to go about and resolve the issue, or free the team to do the stuff.
A 30 minute meeting is meant to discuss more than one subject.
A 1 hour meeting is just a no-no.
4. Have a driver
In all meeting, there is always someone to drive the meeting.
This is usually the person who is more knowledgeable about the matter in hand.
It can be the meeting organiser too.
But the important point here is he is responsible for the good running of the meeting.
5. Respect people’s time
If you said 5 minutes and are taking 1hour.
There is something wrong here.
Your maths is incorrect.
And know that everything that the participants planned for after your meeting is getting spoiled.
They will be late for their next meeting, and as a meeting organiser, it is your fault.
6. Finish early
There is nothing more gratifying that a meeting planned for 30 minutes that finishes within 15 minutes.
This leaves a longing feeling of productiveness in everyone’s mind.
If you have nothing else to say, free the people. Please.