For anyone who has worked at a startup or tried to start their own businesses, you know that meetings can become the bane of your existence. The real problem is that they aren’t run correctly which can lead to many problems. Janine Popick, author of the hilarious article “Don’t Let Meetings Suck your Time,” says there are six reasons she despises meetings:
- Meetings allow people to delay decisions
- Most people who are in meetings don’t need to be there
- People call meetings because they’re afraid to make a decision
- Many people who call a meeting don’t have a clear agenda or objective
- People call 30-minute meetings for things that can be decided in five minutes
- Most meetings cost too much by wasting people’s time
So how can we fix these problems and make meetings actually useful? Here are a few tips:
Set a time and stick to it
Brian Scudamore, CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, says you really need to set a time and strictly adhere to it. “Consider the total time spent in meetings for any professional person, from sales to strategy to on-the-fly important meetings,” Scudamore says. “The percentage of time we spend in meetings can be staggering. To be efficient with time is critical. Conducting meetings with a start and end time, and sticking to those, is key.”
Make it a standing meeting
As in, actually stand during the meeting! There is a reason so many people prefer standing desks. You are more likely to pay attention when standing and it will keep the meeting quicker!
Try to avoid Mondays and aim for Tuesday at 3 pm
People are really not at their best on Mondays which makes it a tough day for meetings. But interestingly enough Tuesdays at 3 might actually be the most perfect time for a meeting. According to LifeHacker, the online meeting scheduling service “When is Good” found, after reviewing over 100,000 responses to 34,000 events on their platform, that Tuesday at 3pm was the most “available” spot for a meeting.
Have an agenda
It is so important to set an agenda at the beginning of the meeting and make sure everyone is aware of it. Make the objective clear!
Have a notetaker
Make sure a record is kept of what happens during the meetings, especially the ideas. Ideally, send the notes out to everyone afterwards.
Make sure you actually need to have a meeting
Don’t just have a meeting because it seems like a good time to have a meeting. That’s counterproductive. Make sure this will be a good and effective use of everyone’s time.
Good luck making your meetings more productive!