How often has this happened to you: Just as you’re entering into the creative and strategic part of your project, it’s time for a meeting. The third one of the day.
With a heavy sigh, you take your seat in the conference room, aware that your project will have to wait until tomorrow as the deadline for completion draws closer.
Meetings are a bane for many church and office workers. While often necessary to move forward and to create a sense of team work, they can also rob people of productivity and cause a sense of discontentment.
So when it’s your turn to schedule a meeting, how do you make it productive and to the point? Here are a few tips:
Have a specific agenda of items to discuss. Keep the list short and focused. More will get done in a shorter time.
Limit the meeting to no more than one hour. Be ruthless in ending the meeting at the end of 60 minutes even if not all agenda items have been covered. Schedule another short meeting the next day to cover those items.
Limit discussion to the agenda items. Discussions can quickly spin off along multiple rabbit trails that increase meeting length and decrease productivity. Value everyone’s input, but if the discussion strays, gently but firmly bring everyone back to the agenda.
Consider alternatives. There are other ways than a conference room meeting to pass along information or to gather input. Texts, emails and even phone messages can often bring the desired results more efficiently and quicker than a meeting.
Follow up. Nothing makes a meeting seem more unimportant than having no follow up to it. People will be more invested in projects when they know their meeting input is showing results.