There's an epidemic sweeping the country that is costing businesses millions of dollars every year -- the unproductive meeting. The average employee spends 5.5 hours in meetings every week, which adds up to 286 hours a year! And 71% of those employees feel that their meetings aren't actually productive. That means these meetings are actually wasting your time and money and draining your practice.
The good news is that you don't have to fall victim to this epidemic. Just like every other area of your practice, you should be planning your meeting time with intention. Use the following tips to maximize your time, create synergistic office culture, and avoid time-wasting snooze fests.
1. Schedule meetings in the morning
Here at the Scheduling Institute, we practice what we preach. Every single morning at 8:30 sharp our company meets for a "morning huddle." Our brains are awake, alert, and not bogged down with all the stressful tasks, emails, and distractions. We are able to purely focus on our goals for the day, and what we need to do to reach them. Try implementing morning huddles at your office! They don't need to be long -- 10 minutes should be enough time to get everyone pumped up and on track for an efficient workday.
2. Plan your meetings in advance
Sure, some meetings always just pop up last-minute, but most of them can wait a week. If you're preplanning your meetings, you will give yourself time to really think about what you want to accomplish in that meeting and the result you want to produce. It also allows you to stick to your calendar blocking.
3. Prepare an agenda
If you prepare an agenda before a meeting, set times for each topic, and predetermine its goal, you are much more likely to have a productive meeting. Often, people rely on "figuring it out as they go," which means they're wasting time (and money) when they could have taken five minutes to prepare beforehand. That's just plain laziness!
4. Always start with a win
Go around the room and ask every team member to share a personal and professional win. Not only does this allow the meeting to start on a positive note, it is also a great way to build team unity and friendship. That way, your team will be focused on the areas of their lives that are going well, rather than their complaints, which will allow for a much more productive conversation.
Mastering your meeting time is vital to leveraging your team and growing your practice. Remember, your team is taking cues from their leader, which means that your level of engagement will determine the effectiveness of the meeting.
Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.