The biggest waste of time is meeting when it's not necessary. You'd be surprised by how many of your weekly meetings can be eliminated when you decide to meet only when it's absolutely necessary. Here are some tips for deciding if a meeting is worth your time.

1. Has a Goal Been Set for the Meeting?
Is there a purpose for meeting, a goal to achieve? Every meeting should have an objective and if the one you've been asked to attend doesn't, consider recommending that a memo or e-mail be sent instead.

2. Has an Agenda Been Created Ahead of Time?
An agenda is the basis for an effective meeting. Creating and distributing the meeting agenda one or two days before the meeting begins gives participants an opportunity to prepare for the meeting. Having an agenda during the meeting also focuses the discussion and helps your group stay on track.

3. Will the Appropriate People Be Attending?
If the appropriate people aren't present, then important decisions get put on hold. It will also take time to update key individuals on what took place in the meeting they missed. It's better to put the meeting on hold until all of the right people can be in the room.

4. Could the Information Be Covered in an E-mail or Memo?
The purpose of most meetings is sharing information and updating others. If possible, make an effort to substitute these types of meetings with an e-mail or memo! Simply send one e-mail to all the people who would have attended the meeting. This will save everyone time, they'll still be up-to-date on what's happening and they'll be grateful for having one less meeting to attend that week.

1. Gary Buterbaugh, High Performance Meetings.


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