Scheduling meetings – How to improve your productivity

Scheduling meetings

As any business aims for higher sales it is necessary to boost your productivity levels to reach the goal of increasing sales as well. It is not just the marketing techniques that matter in increasing your sales but also the effort that you put in your business.

 If you are looking to make higher profits, then improving your productivity is equally important since higher productivity means that as a business, you are facing fewer costs and are performing considerably well as compared to others. While there are quite a few ways to make sure that productivity levels of your business increase, scheduling meetings is one important aspect of it as well. 

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Source: NTask Managers

Any company or business includes meetings which are held frequently among the related group of people. At times these meetings can be held between senior position holders or they can be held with the general staff. None the less, they are all important especially when it comes to contributing towards the productivity of the firm. 

While reading through this you will understand how meetings play an important role in the productivity of a business. However, before looking into the details, you need to be able to understand the concept of productivity and its relation with business meetings. 

What is productivity?

Quite simply put, productivity is basically the output produced from each unit of input in a firm or business. For tangible goods productivity is simply measured by the number of goods produced in a specific period of time. 

But for goods which belong to the services sector and are intangible, it can become relatively difficult to measure productivity. In cases where a productivity level cannot be determined, the revenue gathered from selling the products can then be divided by the salary given to employees in a business. 

Apart from the basic point of view regarding productivity of a business is the value of the term when it comes to discussions and meetings. For example, we are used to hearing whether a meeting was productive enough or not. 

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Source: Tap My Back

What this means is whether the meeting or discussion provided some useful food for thought or not. Whether it provided information that could help the business or not, hence making it productive. 

Meetings are generally considered to be a norm in businesses. Scheduling meetings can make it easier for employees as well as business owners to add to the productivity of the business. Here are a few tips through which meetings, scheduled ones, can prove to be productive for a business.

#1. Meeting agendas planned beforehand 

When scheduling a meeting, you need to set a time and date for the meeting to take place. once you are done with this, you can seek to create and plan an agenda for the meeting. 

This allows the meeting to revolve around one main topic and to discuss it in detail. With a set agenda for a meeting, there are less chances for people to beat around the bush. You can also notify people that only one agenda will be discussed per meeting, depending on the time you have.

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Source: Pinterest

The image above is an example of a planned agenda for a meeting with timings set out for each speaker so none of the speakers can switch from the topic and all relevant details are discussed in a short timeframe. 

An agenda for a meeting can be helpful since people participating in the meeting know exactly what is being discussed and tend to stick to that topic rather than drifting off topic. More importantly, setting agendas can bring to the forefront the problems being faced by a business or its employees. 

For example, a rent a car business when holding a scheduled meeting with the shareholders, can set an agenda on how to tackle insurance policies along with the hurdle of increasing taxes in the industry. 

#2. Too many cooks spoil the broth

Just like the common English phrase that many of us have heard throughout our lives, too many people attending a meeting tend to spoilt it. Which is why when preparing for a scheduled meeting, it is better to limit the number of people that have to attend it. 

To do this, people who are most responsible for the tasks being discussed in a meeting, should be shortlisted and notified beforehand. Looking at the agenda being set for the meeting, it is easier to add people to the meeting who belong to the related department.

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Source: Meeting King

The image depicts a perfect representation of a meeting room where there are too many people. Such a meeting turns out to be counterproductive since no point of view is actually heard and the purpose of the meeting is lost. 

For example if there is a meeting being held for the sales performance of a company, it is better to only include people from the sales department rather than call in people from the marketing or finance department. 

This way, people with the knowledge regarding the topic will be able to provide relative information which can thus lead to be a productive output for the business. If knowledgeable people come up with a solution in the meeting, it can not only boost the productivity of a business but also help it in becoming more efficient than before. 

#3. Keep it short and sweet

Dragged meetings become boring and highly unproductive. According to research 182 business managers concluded that meetings are unproductive and lengthy. This means that rather than being productive, meetings end up being counterproductive.

While employees could complete and finish their work, they end up in really long meetings which cost them their work at the end of the day. However, these kind of meetings are exactly that need to be cut down.

When looking to increase your productivity and making sure that all members of the business end up contributing their maximum amount of input to the firm, you should know that their time is precious. Meetings that take too long normally end up with no solid and fruitful results. 

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Source: My Life Path

This is why when scheduling a meeting, you should emphasise on the point that it will be concise. You can even set strict time limits so nobody’s time ends up being wasted. 

Once a meeting is scheduled and its agenda set, you can send out a message to employees telling them that each one them who is attending the meeting will have a maximum time limit of 3 to 4 minutes to present their point. This saves time and brings focus on the important points in the meeting. 

It is said that pointless meetings end up wasting the time of employees whereas they could have worked on more productive things rather than the meeting. It is one of the main reasons that business meetings are looked down upon and considered to be unproductive. 

This is the concept that needs to change in scheduled meetings so everyone knows that they are contributing to something useful rather than wasting time in a room full of people with random things to talk about. 

#4. Summarize it all

Like any other important discussion, it is necessary that at the end of a scheduled meeting, you make a list of all highlighted points brought forward. When the meeting is coming close to being wrapped up, you can discuss the productive points and summarize it to the attendees so they also know of what all was actually helpful. 

After a quick recap of whatever was being discussed you can come to asking some related questions such as:

1. What do you think should be our next step?

2. Who according to you should be responsible for it?

3. What should be the time period according to you?

Harvard Business School considers these questions as the main element of business meetings where all participants should be given 30 seconds to 1 minute to answer them. These questions tend to be the perfect way to wrap up a meeting while also making sure that all people attending the meeting are aware of the points raised and their role to play. 

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Source: Staples

This way you also know that the outcome which you desired has now been achieved from the meeting and its real purpose has been met. 

#5. Cling to your agenda

Even though preparing an agenda can sound more than enough, it normally isn’t. This is due to human nature where people tend to drift off topic and discuss other material which can or cannot be business related. According to the research of a firm, 63% of the meetings held had no planned agenda to be discussed leading to a waste of time and energy. 

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Source: Selling Energy

Hence, it is important that you make sure that each and every one of the people who are a part of your meeting, keep on sticking to the agenda. When planning a scheduled meeting, you start off from preparing an agenda which can be sent out to the attendees. However, you should ask them to prepare their discussions and points related to the agenda so you can keep your meeting on track without any distractions. 

The agenda of the meeting is the main purpose behind it so you can ask all participants to send in their summaries and points of view to you prior to discussion. This way you end up with an elaborate overview of the entire meeting and know that all members have provided their valuable input to the meeting. 

If the meeting revolves around more than one agenda, you can set time limits for each agenda and ask participants to create discussions according to the concise time so all points can be brought to the table. 

Conclusion

While there is a huge misconception about business meetings that they are dragged and end up being a waste of time, it is actually the way they are handled by various businesses. Scheduling meetings can help a business rather than proving to be counterproductive. 

With the help of scheduled meetings, a business can gain the necessary point of view from the relevant people. A set agenda for such meetings can restrict distractions and small talk in meetings so the actual point can be discussed. 

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Source: Thrive Global

When keeping scheduled meetings with a smaller group of people, a business must allow those participants who have the most knowledge and have proven to be efficient for the business rather than those who have little insight to provide. 

Discussing the important points and talking about roles and responsibilities about a topic can inform people about their duties and responsibilities. Summaries and questions at the end of meetings always end up being productive since the participants are informed and are allowed to provide tidbits at the end which can improve productivity. 

Productivity is an important aspect of a growing business and is the reason behind the success or failure of a business. For a business to be productive means that it ends up gaining more by putting in less. 

This does not mean that a business does not contribute enough input, but it just means that with the same amount of input as before, it can now achieve more. Scheduled meetings with the relevant data can help a firm reach this level.

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