Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Meetings have always been big obstacle to productivity, but now it has become a huge issue as we have moved to virtual meetings.
I love asking my clients to check together their agenda when they say they have zero time for strategy. I have seen top leaders stuck in back to back zoom calls with no break with 6 to 10 meetings.
Every single day
Every single week
For months..maybe years?
You should definitely not stop having meetings. They are a great way to quickly assess the situation and decide next steps when conducted correctly.
With some small adjustments you can take back some time in your daily agenda. Aim for 20% to start.
- Book shorter time -
This seems the most obvious hack, but just having 50 minutes instead of a full hour, will give you time to decompress.
Sometimes you will even realize that 30 minutes is more effective. Shorter meetings demand a clear agenda to be set and will help you stay focused.
- Reduce frequency -
Most of strategic meetings are held weekly to ensure things are on track, but there are plenty of occasion where a fortnightly call it's all that is needed. Some updates can be done asynchronously and keep the meeting for brainstorm and decision making only.
- Challenge every time their purpose -
Sometimes there is a good reason why some meetings are introduced, but if they stop having that purpose just cut them out. None needs to waste one hour filled with nothingness and general updates.
- Get the right people in the meeting -
Same as for the purpose, clarify who should own the meeting and be part of it (most importantly, should YOU be there?) Only who can contribute value to the meeting as a whole, or a specific agenda item set for that day should attend. Everyone else should only be informed with notes with the outcome.