Every person values some things more than others and entrepreneurs value their ideas, their money and most importantly their time. Time is the most valuable asset for business owners and the ability to manage effectively their schedules is of a great advantage. There are so many things that should be taken care of in a day and often the 24 hours seem not enough. Entrepreneurs sacrifice sleep and fun and even the time for friends and family is limited. So, why do they fall into one very common trap that is such a time-waster – the unproductive meetings!
Attending meetings is essential element of the schedule of every ambitious entrepreneur. Communicating with the team members, co-founders, the investors, partners, mentors and clients is part of the business, but it can make an impact only if the meetings are effectively done. Often entrepreneurs catch themselves attending unproductive meetings, which are a waste of time – the agenda is unclear, the participants arrive unprepared or the distractions and off-topic conversations are taking up much of the time.
The causes of bad meetings are many and they should be eliminated because a constant flow of unproductive meetings can be in a great significance determining the overall efficiency of the work the entrepreneur does. Here you can find four questions you should ask yourself when a meeting is organized in order to make sure that it won’t be a waste of time.
The agenda: Is it absolutely clear?
Make sure that the topic is clear and the invited people are aware of the key points that will be discussed so they can prepare themselves prior to the meeting.
Are the right people invited?
Make sure that you invite only the people that truly need to be there. It is essential to value the time of others as much as you value your own.
Clear time frame: Am I managing the time as planned?
Make sure that the meeting is going according to the planned time and that unnecessarily chit-chat and off-topic conversations, which are such a time wasters, are avoided. Start on time and finish on time – it is the key to success.
How to follow up?
Before you leave the interaction make sure that everyone knows how to proceed afterwards – what are the outcomes from the meeting and how the attendees will follow up. To maximize the effect of the meeting and to review the decisions and the assignments, it is always advisable to follow up.
Bonus: If you need an inspiration to push you towards improving your meetings, check out David Grady’s TED Talk – How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings. Enjoy!