How to Manage Without Meetings

Spend less time sitting idle in a conference room and more time getting work done

11/16/2016

How to Manage Without Meetings

As a small business owner, you are very busy with various simultaneous projects and ongoing relationships. You can’t afford to spend the majority of your time at meetings; in fact, according to an infographic on Entreprenuer.com, a staggering 59 percent of the time, wasteful meetings keep people from getting important tasks accomplished.
 
Obviously, in some cases, meetings are a necessary evil. But if you are knee-deep in a culture thick with meetings, maybe that culture needs to evolve. Here are some ways you can help with the progress:
 
Create an agenda - Make sure meetings are prepared, have a clear agenda and are planned for a specific, limited timeframe. You can influence the people who are preparing the meeting to create an outline and stick with it.
 
“Suggest a time limit on each discussion item and the meeting itself so it can run smoothly and efficiently,” recommended Joel Garfinkle, a professional executive coach.
 
Only invite the necessary attendees - For each meeting, decide how important it is for you to attend. Compare your most important projects to each meeting you are scheduled to attend and decide which is more urgent.
 
Have an open meeting policy - Leave meetings early or attend later. By utilizing the previously outlined agenda, if you do decide the meeting is important to attend, find out specifically when it is crucial for you to be at the meeting. It’s not likely that every point discussed will pertain to everyone, so let every employee, including yourself, attend solely when the topics relevant to their positions are being discussed.
 
Assign a meeting proxy - Delegate the meetings to someone else. Do you have a partner or subordinate who could attend in your place? Make sure this person is still relevant and can add knowledge to the conversation, but who can also take thorough notes to fill you in later.
 
Make suggestions - Suggest alternatives to meetings. Many times, a memo, a conference call or a quick one-on-one discussion are just as effective in transmitting information and ideas.
 
“If you sense an opportunity to stamp out an unnecessary meeting, take the initiative,” Garfinkle says. “You’ll not only free up time for yourself, you’ll win the undying admiration of your coworkers.” Yes, productivity of the entire company could increase as the result of your suggestion.
 
By adhering to the above tips, you should be able to decrease your meeting attendance by at least 50 percent. Not only does this make you much more productive, it also helps you obtain a clearer focus about what is really most important during your workday.

Published by North Shore Bank. Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers. 

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