10 Ways to Put Your Meetings on a Diet

Meetings are one of the #1 time wasters in the workplace.

Too often employees are locked in meeting rooms instead of allowed to get their job done.

They take up too much time.  Cost too much money.  Kill too much of employees’ morale.  And result in too much loss of productivity.

Most companies would be better off with less meetings.

In fact, less meetings.  Less time for meetings.  Less people in meetings.  And so on…

Does your workplace need “less of” meetings?

The Cost of Meetings

In today’s workplace, meetings are often used instead of doing work.

In fact, when dealing with ineffective teams, I often see them calling meetings instead of doing their work.

However, the cost of meetings goes beyond impacting simple workplace productivity.

Meetings cost your company is many areas:

  • Money – Think meetings are free?  Locking those 10 senior managers in a room for 3 hours just cost thousands of dollars.  Was the work accomplished worth that price?
  • Time – Managers think they are only calling a 1 hour meeting.  But with 10 people in the room, it just cost 10 hours of work productivity.  Probably more when you consider the interruption to the workday.
  • Morale – Nothing sucks the life out of workers quicker than long, agenda less, expanding-to-fit-the-scheduled-time meetings.  If you want to kill your team’s morale, long meetings are a good place to start.

Put Your Meetings on a Diet

The first thing that I recommend to companies that are suffering from too many meetings is to put their meetings on a diet.

They need “Less Of” Meetings.  Cutting back can show immediate, tangible increases in team productivity.

Get your meetings out of your team’s way and they will often surprise you.

Here are “10 Ways to Put Your Meetings on a Diet”

  1. Less Meetings – Simply, hold fewer meetings.  Cancel them.  Let your people work instead of locking them in a room.  Go through your calendar and eliminate any unnecessary or duplicate meetings.  A good sign that meeting is not necessary is that it repeats every week no matter what is happening in your business.
  2. Less Lateness – Most meetings in the workplace start late.  This means that they last longer than they need to.  Start on time.  End early or at least on time.  Make it a hard a fast rule.  Exclude those who are late.
  3. Less Required – If you must have meetings, do not make them required.  Give your employees the “Right to Decline.”  You will quickly find out which meetings are important and which employees should be there.
  4. Less Time – Keep meetings short.  Try 30 minute meetings.  No meetings over an hour.  In fact, try cutting your meetings in half.
  5. Less People – Bring the minimum number of people to the meeting.  Do not allow squatters or extra invitees.  Not only do meetings with more people cost more money, they take more time.
  6. Less Room – Don’t go for big conference rooms, where people hide out at the far end of the table and surf or do email.  If there are 4 people in a meeting, get a small round table with 4 chairs.
  7. Less Interruptions – Defend your meetings against interruptions.  Do not start them over when someone arrives late.  Do not allow cell phone calls in the meeting.
  8. Less Work – No working on other items during meeting.  If someone is busy working on something else on their laptop, then they should be excused.  They obviously should be elsewhere working.
  9. Less Topics – No open ended “get-together meetings.”  Ensure that each meeting has specific decisions to be made.  No agenda?  No meeting.
  10. Less Tech – No cell phones, laptops, etc.  You are better off with a whiteboard and taking notes on paper.  Does wonders for meeting productivity.

Try Less Meetings for More

Try cutting back on your meetings.  Meetings are best in moderation.

Give you employees their time back.  And they will give you back their productivity.

Put your meetings on a diet and watch your team’s productivity soar.

Does your workplace suffer from too many meetings?  Do your meetings need a diet?

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