We’ve all been stuck in bad meetings.

Agenda? Undefined. Arrive early and you’ll start 10 minutes late anyway. Who’s in charge? No one knows. No one seems to agree on anything and it’s beginning to show that this meeting was fruitless. Now you’re left with the same unfinished work but with fewer hours to do it. Does it feel like you just wasted your time? 

We could go on and on about the inconveniences that blow any meeting’s time away. However, to save you some time—unlike what that meeting did—we gathered 9 rules to follow whenever you’re calling a meeting.

9 Rules for meetings to keep in mind from now on:

2. Schedule Meetings Ahead of Time

Giving employees an early notice for your scheduled meetings is important. To save everyone’s time, set clear goals for your meetings and give at least a day’s notice.

4. Don’t Schedule More Time Than You Need

Most meetings are scheduled for a full hour when all they need is 20 minutes. Booking shorter meeting slots actually helps people focus. Unless it’s a workshop or a serious work issue that needs to be covered in a long period of time, don’t waste people’s work hours.  

5. Everyone Needs to RSVP

Make sure people confirm their attendance. This rule is more than just time-saving, it’s energy-saving too. Think about it. Would you rather set up a meeting with a full house or set up a number of meetings to accomodate absent coworkers?

6. Check Everyone’s Calendar

Don’t make assumptions about a suitable date for the meeting. Rather than creating overlapping meetings, first take a moment to check everyone’s calendar. Stay open to finding a date that suits everyone instead of causing disruption to people’s work schedules. 

7. No Agenda = No Meeting

It’s an obvious yet underestimated requirement. If there’s no agenda, then there’s no need to cut everyone’s workflow. Have a clear goal behind the meeting and highlight the key points you need to cover. Don’t just wing it! Preparation is key. 

8. Start on Time. End Five Minutes Early

No matter what condition you’re in and no matter who’s late, start your meeting on time. Let your punctuality set the standard for future meetings. This shows you respect everyone’s time.

As a bonus, end your meeting five minutes early. 

9. Create an Action Plan

If there are certain actions or steps required, then you need to define your three W’s: 

  • What is the action? 
  • Who is the action assigned to? 
  • When does it need to be submitted?

This keeps everyone on the same page and involved in reaching milestones. 

Document every campaign and strategy idea mentioned in the meeting. Follow up with who is handling which task and what actions should be taken. Last of all, don’t leave the room without a clear plan. 

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