This Week: Make Meetings Not Just Tolerable, But Productive

Posted October 14, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Features

Meetings, meetings, meetings. They can be the most exciting parts of your day, or the most boring. And if you work in a meeting-heavy office environment, meetings could be sucking the life out of your day and your productivity. How, then, can you spend time in meetings productively rather than leaning back in your chair brainstorming your grocery list or doodling?

Here are Career Girl’s best tips for productive meetings:

  • Keep them short. If you’re meeting for longer than 60 minutes, you clearly haven’t done enough prep before the meeting. Prepare more and meet less.
  • Plan ahead. You need an agenda and outcomes you want to see from the meeting, otherwise it can become a free-for-all. Create these things early and for every meeting you plan.
  • Choose a leader. The worst meetings are those in which no one is clearly leading and everyone is constantly chattering, vying for leadership positions. Be clear on who is leading the meeting from the beginning.
  • No meeting should have more than three topics. Once you get into this, that, the other, and more, you’re going to go over time and increase frustration for everyone. Stick to the point and get it done.

Meetings should increase productivity, not stunt it. Don’t just tolerate your meeting times, look forward to them because they propel you ahead in your goals both personal and as a team.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."