Communicating through Meetings: Three Tips for Saving Time

Meetings cost money. And wasted time in meetings adds cost that doesn’t produce value.
That’s why we’re championing some ideas on removing waste from meetings. Here are a three that are working for us:

  • Hold impromptu standing meetings. We’ve found that standing helps one stay on task, and signals that the meeting will be brief.
  • Cut meeting times in half. We no longer assume that a meeting has to be an hour, or even 30 minutes, when it is booked. If someone thinks they need a one-hour meeting, start by scheduling a 30-minute meeting. This week we beat our record and cut a one-hour meeting to 13 minutes—which left a whole 47 minutes unscheduled on their calendars and ours!
  • Cancel meetings. It may have made sense when the meeting was called, but circumstances may have changed. Before you start the meeting ask if this is still the best way to achieve your desired goal. If not, cancel it or reschedule it with a smaller group.

We’re actually proponents of meetings because having the right people together is so much more efficient than a string of emails if you’re problem-solving. It also gives you the benefit of the brainstorm, which is more likely to occur when people are interacting in person. But we believe most meetings could be vastly more efficient.
What ways have you found to waste less time in meetings?