Rick Brinkman, author of "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand: Meet Less and Do More," quotes author and columnist Dave Barry:
"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings.' "
A 2015 Harris Poll survey found that the No. 1 obstacle to getting work done is having to attend meetings. A study by the Wharton Center for Applied Research showed senior and middle managers felt 44% of their meetings were unproductive.
Brinkman: "As a manager, if you free your employees from meetings they don't need to attend and make the ones they do shorter, focused and more productive, conservatively it would be the equivalent of increasing your workforce by 25% without spending a penny."
Ask why. There is only one legitimate reason for a meeting, Brickman says, and that's so people can interact on a particular subject.
"If you're holding a meeting just to present information, you're wasting your time," he adds. Better to put that in a memo.
Create meeting schedules. Each meeting agenda item should include a title, time frame, process, and two essential items, purpose and focus, Brinkman says.
"Purpose is a two-sentence statement explaining why this item is so important," he continues. "Focus is what you want from the group regarding this item."
Brinkman adds: "The meeting must start on time whether or not everyone is there and end on time whether or not the agenda has been accomplished."
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