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Career Advice

Six Ways To Keep From Wasting Time In Meetings

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

February 16, 2012

A recent study of how chief executives manage their time found that they spent about a third of their workweek in meetings—about 18 hours a week, on average.

CEOs say that meetings are an important part of their job, helping them connect with managers and clients, but can be a waste of time if they aren't run efficiently. Here are some ways to help ensure that a meeting is productive and not a day-waster:

1. Have an agenda and stick to it. It seems obvious, but most meetings fail because they are poorly planned or go off track. Writing down the agenda and circulating it helps keep everyone on the same page.

2. Block half the time you usually do for meetings and keep strict time. Instead of a half-hour meeting, block a 15-minute slot. Meetings expand to fill the time you have.


3. Don't tolerate late starts. If meetings have regular stragglers, consider fining participants a nominal fee and use the money for office parties.

4. Consider banning mobiles or laptops from meetings—especially short sessions—to prevent participants from zoning out. If a meeting is long, set scheduled email breaks so people aren't distracted throughout.

5. Consider holding a stand-up meeting, which research shows may cut meeting length by as much as a third. A walking meeting, best for small groups, can also help participants clear their heads and get some exercise

6. If there are follow-up or action items, make it crystal clear who should be doing what and who is accountable. Originally posted on FINS from the Wall Street Journal by Rachel Emma Silverman