How To Reduce Endless Meeting and Stay Productive

It is apparent meetings are woven into the fabric of every workplace, no matter the size of an organization.  And safe to say meetings won’t be entirely discarded anytime soon (performance review meetings come to mind). However, not every meeting planned or otherwise produces outcomes or results. As a matter of fact, one ill-organized meeting is likely to lead to countless others in the guise of follow-ups, etc.  

According to a study conducted by OpinionWay in 2017, only one in two meetings is considered productive. Which begs the question: How do you reduce unnecessary meetings and start conducting more productive ones?

If you look forward to reducing endless meetings, this post is right for you!


1 – Be Well-Prepared Before The Meeting

Most meetings are destined for failure if it begins with an unclear agenda or, with none at all.  A lot has been written about running an effective meeting over the last decade yet we continue to be amazed by the number of otherwise accomplished business executives “winging-it” during one.

Be well-prepared before the meetingA simple, clearly defined meeting agenda, shared with the right people (more about that below) is effectively the most important aspect of being well prepared for a meeting. Even if the meeting is between you and another person. 

Here are the 4 reasons what a meeting agenda can do for you: 

Agendas Set The Correct Tone:  Meeting agendas let attendees understand that there’s a certain business purpose for meeting, with specific problems to be mentioned and outcomes to be achieved. It conveys your interest in obtaining all the way down to business without further delay.

Agendas Establish Topics For Discussion: Agendas let participants recognize what problems are progressing to be mentioned, and keep them from inserting different problems on the table. They conjointly eliminate estimation on whether or not a selected issue needs to be mentioned.

Agendas Keep Everybody Focused: Meeting agendas will focus attendees in ways in which verbal steering cannot. Attendees have a written reminder of what has to be accomplished throughout the meeting, enabling them to drive every discussion toward the conclusion.

Agendas Get Rid Of Excuses:  Agendas will prevent the attendees from making excuses that they aren’t ready to participate in a topic because they didn’t know it was going to be stated.  

You may also want to include the following information, as rightly pointed out by Entrepreneur.

  • Location and date
  • Start and end time of the meeting
  • Attendees
  • Time allocated to each topic
  • Names of attendees will be leading each topic discussion


2 –  Invite ONLY the Right People

How many times have you found yourself in a meeting only to find out that you weren’t needed? Well, don’t answer us now, we’ll leave this up to you later.

There is a study stating that 74% of employees claimed that meetings wasted their time and they do not understand the reason why they have to be present at meetings. Others say they are doing other work on their laptops or smartphones during meetings.

Honestly, we’ve all been there — sitting in a long meeting and wondering why we even ought to be there in the first place (whilst there are tons of deadlines are looming on the horizon). 

Every minute spent in a meeting that we don’t belong to is literally a minute wasted doing something productive, but rarely do we find someone speaking out. Instead, most of us opt to submit and knuckle under.

Invite only the right people

Elon Musk is reportedly keen on saying that meetings are what happens when people are not working, or else, he will recommend making a prompt exit if you aren’t adding value to the session. 

This Tesla CEO once told his employees, “It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

So, don’t bother inviting your graphic designers to a sales meeting unless it’s really necessary. They also need to spend time cultivating their creative space.


3 – Consider Shortening the Meeting Duration

Having said that, meeting frequency isn’t the only problem, it’s also duration. According to the 3M study, many managers have spent 25%-80% of their time in meetings. They also claimed that meetings occur too frequently and are methodically too long. They expect the meetings to last less than 60 minutes and the number of participants should be limited to 6 people only.


4 – Consider Daily Standup Meeting

The Daily Standup Meeting is a meeting held daily to help everyone in the team (ideally 6-9 members) keep updated on what’s been completed and what they will do next. It’s supposed to be a quick one for about 10-15 minutes.

Daily Standup Meeting

The meeting actually accomplishes quite a lot of things as it helps gather the team, indicate accomplishments and figure out the next steps. It doesn’t erase the need for other meetings but surely reduces those are unneeded. 


5 – Use Collaboration Tools Instead

The development of mobile applications allows everyone to be more flexible and productive throughout a typical working day. Gradually, there will be no nine-to-fiver when you can get access to your work anywhere, any time of the day. Technologies like video conferencing have made meetings easier than ever, regardless of where the rest of the team is located.

Collaboration apps like Slack, JANDI lets you create separate topics for people to discuss instead of hosting several meetings throughout the week. 

The digital meeting thereby takes place when none of us has to fully stop working. As a result, work gets done faster and more efficiently. TIP: JANDI’s board view feature is great for sharing meeting agendas and updates through comments on the post.  Also, it is a convenient way to share feedback and follow up with colleagues through board view.  

Use Collaboration Tools Instead

Other project management and time management apps like Trello, Google Calendar are also integrated into these collaborative applications, which let your teammates see exactly what you are working on, eliminating the need for constant meetings. 

While meetings are important, not all problems require long hours of meetings to be resolved. Instead, you should find ways to optimize meetings and turn them into efficient versions.

We hope these tips will help you “screw endless meetings” at your office and start having more productive ones!

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