Let's face it - meetings can be a real drag. Have you ever been sitting in a meeting, thinking to yourself, "This could have been an email"? If so, you're not alone, I've been there. Many meetings are unproductive and inefficient. But it doesn't have to be that way! So, let's talk about how to make meetings suck less and be productive.
Being in and out of meetings your entire day can be exhausting on so many levels. They disrupt our workflow, eat into our precious time, and often leave us feeling like we've wasted an entire afternoon.
According to a Harvard Business Review survey of 182 senior managers from various businesses, 65% stated meetings prevent them from finishing their work. Meetings are useless and inefficient, according to 71%. Meetings, according to 64%, take the place of real thinking. Meetings, according to 62%, waste opportunities to bring the team closer together.
Before we dive in, let's acknowledge the elephant in the room (pun intended). Yes, we've all tried those fancy "stand-up" meetings, designated "no meeting days," and even resorted to virtual meetings where we secretly play Candy Crush in the background. But honestly, have they made a difference? Probably not. So, let's try something different to make your meetings tolerable again. :
Tip #1: Use the "Rule of Two Feet" to schedule meetings smarter, not harder: If you can't explain why you need to be in the meeting, then you shouldn't be there. Life is busy and work-life balance is something that is made and not given, so we don't have time for unnecessary peeps taking up space. This helps ensure that only necessary personnel are present, keeping the meeting efficient and productive.
Tip #2: Do your homework: Before the meeting, give each person a little assignment related to what you'll be discussing. That way, everyone comes prepared and can contribute instead of just sitting there looking bored.
Tip #3: Use the "Round Robin" technique: Each person gets to talk without anyone interrupting or judging them. It's like having your very own soapbox but without the awkwardness of standing on an actual soapbox.
Tip #4: Make it interactive: When things start getting off track (because let's face it, they always do), write those stray thoughts down on some whiteboard or sticky notes. We'll get back to 'em later, promise. This way, you can stay focused on the main agenda without totally dismissing those random brain fa*ts.
Tip #5: Follow up with a "Next Steps" summary: Summarize what happened, what needs to happen next, and who's gonna do it. Then, send it out to everyone so nobody can say they didn't know what was up. Boom. Accountability. Transparency. All that jazz.
There you have it –– practical advice to revolutionize your meetings and reclaim your workday. Remember, the goal isn't to eliminate meetings but to make them count. By implementing these strategies, you'll witness a significant improvement in productivity, morale, and perhaps even a smile or two around the conference table.