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Fab Giovanetti

3 Easy Ways to Save Time on your Next Meetings

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Fab Giovanetti
Fab Giovanetti
 2021-05-12

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Meetings do not have to be draining — yet they require you to look at ways to be more efficient with them.

The simplest thing you can do to hack your meetings is to institute an agenda — something I explore in great lengths in Reclaim your Time Off.

By having a shared plan that’s available to all team members before each meeting, everyone has the opportunity to contribute to it. Having access to the agenda before the meeting means that everyone on the team can come prepared and isn’t surprised by what’s set to be discussed.

Agendas are also a great way to save time and encourage much more efficient meetings. 

You have that opportunity to tell the team ‘this is why we’re meeting’, and it lets the team know that, if we get these things done, maybe we don’t need an hour, or 30 minutes, it can perhaps be a 15-minute meeting. It gives you the ability to cut back on them.

It may feel like more work, or like you’re putting more effort into it, but you can actually save a lot of time and save a lot of your team’s time by doing it.

It’s essential to shift the perception of agendas as a plan that is set in stone, as indeed the magic of a plan is that it allows the meeting to be much more collaborative in the first place.

Agendas give you that ability to let other people have a voice, particularly in remote or distributed meetings, if you’re across different time zones.

Create a meeting calendar 

Create a dedicated time for meetings, where possible. I say this because I often struggle with this, but I find that having dedicated times to check on my clients, emails, and our collective membership has helped me reclaim the time I need.

Have you ever had a meeting run on for much longer than you originally anticipated? 

My 1.30-hour debates thought me a lot about that. Usually, the best way to create boundaries is to set them straight away: instead of scheduling a meeting for 2:30 pm, schedule it for 2:30–3:00 pm. Set expectations for the person and make sure you specify that the meeting will last 30, 45, 60 minutes.

Having a booking system available for clients, team members, or other commitments is obviously the easiest step to take before fully delegating to an assistant. You can keep empty times that you want to do emails, forward planning or have a lunch break.

Create a shared calendar. This can be available for clients, team members, or other commitments is obviously the easiest step to take before fully delegating to an assistant.

Things change depending on my schedule, but I still pick days for ‘meetings’ and ‘content creation’, so that I can have 1–2 of pure creative bliss. Something really important when creating a meeting schedule is to calculate the necessary work ahead of time so you can come to the meeting prepared.

Do everything on your end to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly, and you have all the information you need for a quick and effective follow up. Because 80% of the outcome comes from a follow-up.

With a calendar that people can book into, I don’t have to explain why you are not available — just that you are not.