3 Ways to Make Your Meetings More Productive

We’ve all been in those meetings where they feel like a waste of time. All you can think about is how much work you could be doing, if you weren’t at this meeting.

Nine out of ten people daydream during meetings, and 73% of employees admit to multitasking during meetings.  When you walk from meeting to meeting all day, it becomes difficult to stay present and focused, especially when the meeting isn’t effective or pertinent to your role.

In alignment with this emotional struggle and efficiency drop, businesses across America are reported to waste $399 billion as a result of scheduling and gathering for unproductive meetings,” states Ashley Stahl, the author.

In a Forbes article, Stahl offers three suggestions on how to make the most out of your meetings without wasting other people’s time.

 

1. Host Walking Meetings

Research has shown that walking sparks creativity. 

If your group is small, offer to walk to a coffee shop or a park nearby. If the weather conditions are poor or your office isn’t in a nice area of town, walk around the office or hop on a treadmill at the office gym. 

Walking, not only gets your creative juices flowing but it makes you get out of your chair and move. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, excess body fat, and increase risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

2. Make an Agenda

This may be obvious, but research has shown that only 37% of meetings use agendas. 

Start with a clear, concise objective of the meeting. Then, instead of writing statements, pose questions to spark ideas. Finally, save some time at the end to review and round up. Sending an agenda out before the meeting gets the attendees to start brainstorming your questions. 

3. Ban Bullet Point Slides from Meetings

The brain process images much quicker than words, in fact 60,000 times faster. Reading bullets points to the group is just boring for everyone. Replace text with images, and send meeting notes afterwards for people to read through. 

Stahl suggests keeping “meetings visual, specific, and short when possible.”

 

So, the next time you’re in charge of setting up a meeting, try these ideas out and see what works, or doesn’t, for your team.