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10 Tips to stop wasting time and reduce unnecessary meetings

Is there anything worse than sitting in a meeting that should have been an email? At Oneflow, we are all about saving time and increasing productivity. Here are some of our best tips to help get rid of dreadful, useless meetings.

Book 1-2 “meeting days” a week or Book “No meeting” days

Pick one or two days a week when you are open to meetings. Or pick a couple days a week where you won’t accept any meetings. This will allow for better time management. It’s ok to ask for meetings to fit into your schedule. A lot of meeting topics can easily be resolved via email.

Don’t invite EVERYONE

This is a big one. The saying “too many cooks in the kitchen” rings true even at the office. Before calling a meeting make sure you really think through who needs to be there and only invite essential teammates. Having too many people will just create confusion, distraction, and most likely, follow up meetings.

Learn to say no

If you don’t have time or don’t think it is necessary for you to attend a meeting, then say so! Don’t feel obligated to attend every meeting you are invited to. You can easily ask to receive the meeting minutes (in an email) after the meeting. If your presence is critical in a meeting then ask to reschedule for a time that suits you better.

Request an agenda

Make sure meetings are relevant to you. This is also important. Sometimes, the person organising a meeting is unfamiliar with how your team works. If you are too senior to be in attendance, for example, then respectfully request that another teammate joins the meeting and relays the information to you. If the meeting isn’t relevant for your team yet, then respond to the meeting request by suggesting you get involved at a later date once the project is off its feet.

Cut the planned meeting time in half

Do your best to cut all meeting times in half. Shorter meetings will make everyone more focused and leave less time for chit chat. You can get the same amount of work done in half the time!

Have everyone stand during meetings

This may sound silly, but it works! Having everyone stand during a meeting will really cut meeting times and make your teammates more inspired to get back to their desks and get to work.

Create time for yourself

Block out time in your calendar for your work. Are you most productive at the start of your day? Mark every morning from 8-10 as your “productivity” time. That way you won’t be disturbed during those slots.

Have a meeting Moderator

Assign one meeting member to make sure everyone keeps on track. It is so easy to get off track by letting a random tangent take over. Having someone to moderate the meeting and make sure that everyone keeps on task will cut down meeting times. 

“That is a really good point that we should definitely discuss. But it is not relevant to this meeting.”

Get collaboration software

Instead of having a meeting to give status updates on all projects, create transparency with collaboration software. This will allow everyone on your team to better plan their work and cut down on unnecessary meetings. Here are some great tools!

  • Slack
  • Confluence
  • Mindmeister
  • Google Docs

Say NO to cell phones

This may sound like a no brainer but cell phone interruptions distract your teammates focus and can make meetings last way longer than necessary. Set a “no phone” policy for all meetings.

Hope this helps! Now get back to work!

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