How to Make Meetings Take Less Time?
on 11/03/2019

Meetings are gradually losing their significance in the eyes of organizational personnel. Many of them perceive meetings as a total waste of time and suggest that information can be communicated easily through various internal and external channels. However, the need for teamwork in the contemporary organizational environment implies the requirement for meetings from time to time. Meetings are excellent platforms for brainstorming and collaboration among employees concerning specific business processes in the organization.

On the contrary, nowadays meetings are turning into restricted timeframes where different people talk on the same topic consistently that is reflective of loss in productivity. So, what can be done to make sure that the time of a meeting is kept to the minimum alongside obtaining the desired levels of productivity from the meeting? Here is a short description of some pointers that can help have a productive meeting.

Do you need a meeting?

The foremost point that should be on your priority in conducting a meeting is the identification of the need for a meeting. If you keep holding meetings for an hour every day just to clarify doubts or get the answer to a specific question, then it would only be a waste of time. The key to saving time in a meeting is by reflecting on the need for a meeting in the first place. Do not conduct a meeting unless it is necessary and instead you can prefer email, chat, video calling or voice calling to clarify your confusions.

Keep it short and simple

The time scheduled for meetings should be reduced in advance especially during the planning stage. Meeting participants may also accept the shorter time duration of the meeting as a deadline and refrain from any distractions. Meetings with shorter time durations also impose limited stress on participating personnel as compared to seemingly endless meetings.

You could avail the additional time for sending follow-up messages as well as prepare appropriately for the next meeting. A helpful hint, in this case, would be to take note of the meeting duration and calculate an average estimate which could be used as a benchmark for determining the duration of next meetings in the future.

Use the agenda

The meeting agenda is the most potent tool at your disposal to reduce the time required in a meeting. All you have to do is outline the objectives of the meeting clearly and the actions that would be taken in the meeting. For example, if you want the inputs of employees about diversity and inclusion at the workplace then specify it clearly on the agenda.

This way, attendees would not stray away from the purpose of the meeting and would be involved solely with the precedents of diversity and inclusion as well as their recommendations on the issue. Furthermore, the meeting agenda could help the attendees to prepare adequately for the meeting by identifying the possible contributions that they can make to the meeting.

Invite only the ones needed

Call only the employees who have a relation to the meeting’s objective. You don’t want your valuable human resources from other departments to waste their time on a meeting which has nothing to do with their work. Finally, you should always resort to the use of video conferencing calls for conducting meetings as most companies do at specified times for reducing the time required in meetings.

Conclusion

The trick to reducing time in meetings is based on planning. The precision of your planning is an imperative requirement for reducing meeting time by establishing the objectives for a meeting, developing a meeting agenda and fixing shorter durations for meetings.