I found easy ways to improve my team’s meeting productivity and save time. Effectivemeetings.com states that that professionals waste 31 hours per month in unproductive meetings. That’s almost a full work day each week! Follow these tips to make meetings efficient without sacrificing results:
Have an agenda. If you don’t have an agenda, you shouldn’t have a meeting. I published my team’s agenda ahead of time so everyone could come prepared.
Limit agenda topics. If your meeting is only 30 minutes long, you shouldn’t have more than three topics to discuss. If your meeting is an hour long, you shouldn’t have more than five to six agenda items. I kept an open document where my team could contribute agenda ideas, but I made a final decision and picked the most important topics to keep the meeting focused.
Keep all laptops closed. My team did not like this rule at first, but quickly saw the value in it. Open laptops encourage distractions. The only person allowed to keep an open laptop during my team meetings was the note taker, and we rotated that position each week.
My team meetings ended up taking only 45 minutes (and sometimes even just a half hour) instead of a full hour once we implemented these steps. Plus, our productivity increased! An unexpected bonus was improved team morale at the meetings as everyone knew I would not waste their time.