Did you know that the average office worker attends 62 meetings on average every month? The average worker also believes that at least half of their meetings are a complete waste of time. The average meeting is scheduled for an hour, so that means we believe we waste 31 hours a month in meetings that add no value. If your meetings look anything like the video below, then it’s time to for a change.
$37 billion a year in salary costs can be attributed to unnecessary meetings in U.S. companies alone. Wasting 31 hours a month is equivalent to over 2 months a year.
Here are 7 tips to find 31 extra hours every month.
[private]1. Require An Agenda: I almost always decline meetings that aren’t accompanied by an agenda. What’s the meeting about? What are the expected outcomes? If you don’t know then it’s unlikely to be a productive time.
2. Prepare: Common sense, right? We’ve all been to meetings where people just aren’t prepared. This is frustrating and a time waster. If a meeting is worth attending then it is worth preparing for. Side note: Preparing for meetings can work wonders for your reputation.
3. Stop Inviting: Collaboration and team work are buzz words that can kill our productivity if we let them. Do you feel the need to invite people to your meetings that don’t really need to be there? Consider carefully who you invite and why you want them to attend.
4. Cancel: If you’re the organizer for a meeting this week, then consider canceling it. Will it even make a difference? Will the other attendees feel relieved or excited? Fewer but more productive meetings could start a revolution in your organization.
5. RIP Recurrence: The “recurring meeting” feature is a convenient option, but a big culprit for wasted time. Thanks to this little gem, I’ve been guilty of meeting with clients and colleagues with absolutely nothing to say, share, or update on. We simply met because at some point in the past we thought it was a good idea to meet regularly. If you find yourself in this situation the put the recurrence to rest.
6. Action Items: Start meetings by discussing progress towards action items from the previous meeting. I’ve found that this is the single most valuable way to make meetings more productive and less frequent. When your team and colleagues know that you expect progress on key items, two things happen. Either progress is made or the desire to meet goes away. Both of these are good.
7. Be Decisive: Decisions made by committee are usually weak. Trivial updates are annoying. Instead just be decisive. Be a leader. Take a stand and move the business forward. Don’t use meetings as a crutch. Just decide what the right direction is and take action. Your company hired you because they believe you are smart enough to do the job and figure out the solutions needed for progress. Live up to their expectations.
What would happen if you eliminate half of your meetings? Share your thoughts below.