Meetings are not inherently bad in itself. Business meetings provide the opportunity to bring forth issues that can affect the future of the business, bring mutual attention to pressing matters and get solution proposals that technology cannot fully replicate. However, there can be such a thing as too much. Unfortunately, an epidemic of unnecessary meetings exist, and this commonly due to wanting to avoid making big decisions. There are ways to cut down the number of meetings you need. Here is what you can do.
Occupy Your Time
One of the best ways to reduce the number of unnecessary meetings you have is to productively occupy the meetings that you do have. If you are the leader, you need to ensure that everyone is on the ball on what needs to be done. If there are to-do lists that need to be updated or assignments that need to be completed, ensure everybody understands what is required. In addition, adequate preparation is needed if a desirable outcome is to be met. That way, more decisions can be made, and time will not be wasted regurgitating information that was already dispersed.
Be Clear With Intentions
If you want to avoid long meetings, you will also have to be clear with what the expectations are, and have a clear agenda in place. Sporadic ideas and proposals will only lead to further confusion. Sometimes, you will also need an “all hands on deck” approach. Meetings tend to be more productive when there are more people as opposed to a select few. Make sure meetings are adequately attended and that the plan is clear and simple.
Set An Appropriate Atmosphere
If the goal is to have fewer meetings, you must ensure that each meeting you do have is productive. To increase productivity, an atmosphere conducive to production is required. For starters, limiting or banning the use of cell phones to avoid distractions is a decent start. Technology can be used to take notes, though. You will also want to have meetings at a time where everyone’s focus can be at their peak. This time is commonly believed to be some time in the afternoon. In addition, do not needlessly elongate meetings if it is not warranted.