Posted on October 3, 2013 · Posted in Leadership, Management, Marketing

It’s no secret that the modern office is full of meetings. On average, project managers attend 62 meetings a month and report half of those to be unproductive.

This equates to 31 hours of wasted time that could have been spent getting actual work done or simply finishing your workday on time (wouldn’t that be nice?).

Most of us know the standard meeting best practices- send out agendas with an objective, share organized meeting minutes, and keep track of important action items. This will help make poor meetings more successful, but what about those meetings that should have never taken place to begin with?

Here are 3 common scenarios and how to combat them:

My boss/client keeps scheduling meetings, how can I say “no”?

Telling someone in a position of power “no” is a difficult scenario, but if there’s something more important on your plate, it’s better to give the choice of what’s the best use of your time.

Send out your prioritized tasks for either your client or boss and ask them if it would be better to work on those pending tasks or attend the meeting. Once the importance of X, Y, Z is explained, most bosses will understand that your time will be better spent elsewhere.

You can always suggest a quick review of the meeting minutes to stay in the loop on any important updates without having to be physically present.

Status Meetings, Status Meetings, Status Meetings

Status meetings are great when they are in small doses and have clear objectives, but they often become blocks of wasted time on your calendar.

Suggest using email for simple status updates. A short email thread can keep the higher ups / clients aware of everything going on, without having to join a tedious phone call or conference room.

If you have nothing to contribute to the meeting, why attend?

Teams have a bad habit of inviting everyone on their team (usually for the convenience of using a team ‘reply-all’ list email address) to their meetings.

For example, if you have a team of 10 people, there may only be 4 people who have something to solve, while 6 others are stuck with nothing to contribute.

Taking efficient meeting minutes can update the other members of the team and doesn’t waste 6 hours of time.

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