How to hold better, shorter meetings

Meetings are an essential part of business life, and, whether you find them exhausting or energizing, you’d probably agree that most could make better use of your time. The people at intelligent calendar assistant maker Clockwise say the time people are spending in meetings has jumped 25% since pandemic-related lockdowns began, and that trend is unlikely to reverse itself any time soon.

I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years for making the meetings I host more productive. For example, I schedule all of them by default for 20 minutes instead of the usual 30 because I find the compressed schedule forces people to get to the point faster and we can always run a little over if necessary.

However, I don’t have all the answers, so I have crowdsourced the topic to the businesspeople on Qwoted to see how they get more mileage from meetings. They did not disappoint.

Is the meeting necessary?

The best way to avoid wasting time in meetings is not to have the meeting in the first place. Financing firm Octane urges managers to ask questions about who absolutely must attend, whether a group can send one person instead of three, and whether the meeting can just as easily be handled by email, said Maria Aveledo, chief business officer.

Madeline Pratt, CEO at creative consultancy Fearless Foundry, uses the Loom video-sharing platform to create quick videos and finds it “a really good way for our team to communicate without having to get on a call.” Another meeting-avoidance technology she applies is Slack Huddles to enable quick, informal virtual conversations.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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