Time Management - How to Have Productive Meetings

By: Lorraine Pirihi

One of the greatest time wasters of all are unnecessary or poorly run meetings. If you want to dramatically improve your time management skills, then learn how to have productive meetings.

"Brian" is the Operations Manager in a large corporation. Every Monday morning, his CEO has a managers' meeting .

This is what usually occurs:

The agenda is circulated the day before which means the managers have little time to prepare.

The meeting always starts late as the CEO will wait for latecomers. In fact, he's often late.

A couple of the managers tend to "waffle on". The CEO who chairs the meeting is not assertive enough to keep them on track.. He's also a 'waffler'.

Most of the managers sit there, bored out of their brains for a majority of the time. They also get stressed as they feel they are wasting time listening to the "wafflers".

As the CEO does not schedule a regular "catch up" time with each individual manager, many unnecessary issues are also discussed.

If this describes some of the meetings you convene then how about taking action and ensure from now on that they are highly productive.

If you're like "Brian" and you would have difficulty suggesting to others how they could improve their meetings, then I suggest you pass this newsletter on to them. Effective time management also includes effective meeting management.

"You'll do so much you'll be surprised when you get your meetings organised"

9 Ways to Improve Your Time Management by Having Super Productive Meetings

Ask yourself, is this meeting really necessary?


Do you need a face-face meeting? A phone call, email or conference call might be a better solution.

Invite as few people as possible


Only have the necessary participants attend.

Have a written agenda with clear objectives


Ensure it is circulated well in advance to those attending. Indicate timeframes allowed to discuss each item.

Double check the meeting venue has been organised the day before


If refreshments are supplied include water and fruit. Ensure the meeting area is quiet with no distractions.

Start and finish on time


Respect your time and everyone else's.

Have an effective chairperson


Unsure who to choose? At the beginning of the meeting count up to three. At three, each participant points to the person they believe will keep the meeting on track.. The person with the most votes is elected.

Circulate the minutes within 48 hours


Ensure all actions have the appropriate person written next to them.

Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes


It's good for your mind and body.

Ensure all mobile phones and pagers are turned off


It's amazing - people have been known to survive without their phones and live to tell the tale.

Good time management is also about using your time wisely when attending meetings. If you can enforce these guidelines, you'll be happy to attend future meetings knowing that your time isn't being wasted.

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