Meetings are important for any business when it’s time to align with your team, make decisions, and outline new plans. But more often than not, meetings are held for no reason other than routine, because they’re far from obligatory.
In fact, meetings can be a waste of time when there’s no clear reason to have them.
But assuming your meetings are necessary for having live conversations with your team, there are still ways to make them go by faster. That can be achieved with a bit of pre-planning, clear goals, and of course, straight-up canceling unnecessary meetings.
Define the goal of the meeting ahead of time
Nothing prolongs a meeting more than starting it without a clear goal. This is the typical “just checking in” meeting that everyone immediately agrees it has no purpose and just wants to get done as quickly as possible.
If you gather your team for a chat, it’s crucial to already have at least one important talking point. Leaving it up to fate gives the meeting an aimless feeling that doesn’t work at all.
And if you find yourself struggling to come up with talking points then… what’s the point of even having a meeting in the first place?
Communicate in writing
You can skip a lot of meetings by communicating in writing. Especially when your plan is to outline complex schedules or topics, getting it down in writing is a huge help – even if a meeting is required, that document will come in handy to make the conversation a lot shorter.
You can also use tools like Excel or Sheets for more complex topics, which helps ensure everyone understands what’s going on.
Weekly check-ins can be shorter (or even canceled)
Many business owners and companies like to run weekly check-ins with the team, and while that can be a moment of fun interaction, more often than not, it can be easily skipped. If there’s nothing to talk about and everyone is doing their job just fine, there’s no reason to disrupt the flow.
Perhaps you can run weekly meetings on the first month with a new team and then switch to bi-weekly or once a month. Having a chat with the team is a healthy habit, but there’s no reason to “check-in” if the operation is running smoothly.
Use another channel for quick updates
Quick updates, especially when they’re directed at a single member of the team, should be reserved for short messages on a different channel.
A good idea is to have a group channel on Slack, Skype, Discord, or WhatsApp, that your entire team has access to. That way, when you only need to shout out quick updates, you can send them there and be sure that everyone sees them without disrupting their day.
Outline your talking points ahead of time
As mentioned before, one of the best practices for reducing your time spent on meetings is to outline your main talking points ahead of time.
Just open a notepad or document and quickly write down the topics you want to touch on. This will ensure the meeting stays organized and to the point, preventing unnecessary tangents. In fact, not only can you do this during the week prior to the meeting, but you can also encourage your team to do the same: outlining topics they want to discuss with you as well.
With these tips in mind, your meetings will be much more efficient, straightforward, and productive as a result!
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