Four steps to more productive meetings

We know what it’s like: you need another meeting like you need a hole in the head.

Being stuck in a long-winded meeting that is dragging on and serving no-one while your workload and to-do list keeps piling up. What better way to suck the life out of your day? But it does not have to be this way. Here at Morning Studio HQ we absolutely hate long meetings. But we also recognise that when they are done right, meetings can be a valuable and supportive tool that actually progress our workday. So we set ourselves up to have snappy productive meetings that get things done without dragging on. Here are our four top tips for holding productive meetings and keeping them short:

1. Plan it out

Never hold a meeting for the sake of it. Regular meetings that are held at routine times often occur simply because they are a recurring item in everyone’s calendar and as a result, can be a time-wasting exercise. Productive meetings have a clear purpose and stick to it. State the objective of your meeting right up front and put together an agenda to ensure you stay on-track. If a meeting is not needed, do not hold one.

2. Stand up

More productive meetings happen when you’re on your feet. Boycott chairs and get everyone standing up for your meetings instead. You will find yourself with more engaged energetic participants. After all, it is much harder to zone out or allow your mind to drift when you are standing. Stand-up meetings also help keep your agenda short and to-the-point, because nobody wants to stand around talking for hours on end.

3. Stay true to time

How many times have you walked out of a meeting and gasped when you see the clock? Could that much of your day really passed while you sat there in a meeting that likely did not advance many of your work objectives? Get rid of rambling, protracted discussions and wavering attention spans. Say “yes” instead to more productive meetings by using a timer. Set a time for your meeting and have the timer keep you true to this. You will be amazed at how concise meeting participants can be and how much you can achieve when a defined time window is in place.

4. Finish strong

Truly productive meetings are a stepping stone to action. So wind your meeting up with of list of clearly defined action points with allocated individuals responsible. If people know they’ll always have an action at the end of the meeting, they’re more likely to stay engaged and participate. And your meetings will actually achieve things afterward!

Make your meetings count. Use our top tips to ensure you only hold productive meetings that progress your business goals. And one last thing - great coffee. It makes any dull moment come alive. That’s a fact.