Our modern lives are full of meetings such as work meetings, event planning meetings, and family meetings. With so little time, how can you take advantage of the benefits of having a meeting and not feel like you are wasting your time in meetings? Time management is the skill that’s needed to make sure that any meeting you plan is productive and moves things forward.
Time management tips for meetings
Spend time pre-planning the meeting
If you want to have a meeting for a purpose, you have to be very clear about that purpose. Like anything in life, meetings are only effective when you have a clear goal or a clear question that will are to be addressed in the meeting. You will be saving your time, and everyone else’s when you have defined that goal before hand.
Contact those who will be involved and communicate your purpose
During your pre-planning session, identify those who can be most helpful in achieving my goal or answering questions, or those most directly involved. Make a list of these people and then send them a short, concise email with your agenda for the meeting.
An excellent way to get to the heart of the topic and build a sense of cooperation is to begin the meeting by asking each person present to share their most critical thought about the presented subject.
Shortly after the meeting, send out a simple follow-up email recapping the meeting and outlining what each person’s responsibilities based off of the meeting are. This is critical to making progress on the issue or question.
Be efficient in the process
At first, you may think that pre-planning and post-meeting follow-ups take up more of my time, but the fact is that they will save my time. Each step here (except the meeting itself) should take about 10 minutes.
One last time management tip is to make sure you keep your address book or contacts list organized and up-to-date. This will be a huge help and time-saver during your pre-planning steps. You can quickly find who you would like to be involved in the meeting, and easily send out your agenda. If you need to spend a bit of time organizing your contacts, look into software programs that can maintain and clean up your lists. It’s important to remove duplicate entries to make sure you are are sending the right information to the right people.