8 Things You Can Do to Make the Most of Your Meeting Time

If you’re considering our online MBA degree program, chances are you’re a business professional. As such, a quarter of your day is probably spent in meetings. But just how productive are those meetings? And what can you do to turn that precious time into something more engaging and efficient?

Carson Tate, author of Work Simply, states that meetings are a cultural problem for businesses – a problem that rarely results in actionable work. Senior executives spend 23 hours, on average, per week in meetings; middle managers sit in meetings 11 hours per week. According to both, only 56% of these meetings are productive. Wow!

Unproductive meetings can also lead to burnout, which can spiral into retention issues. Meetings have a cost burden as well. With the average employee spending upwards of seven hours per week sitting in meetings, companies are wasting tens of thousands of dollars for no tangible reason. (Check out this meeting cost calculator for more information.)

The first step to making any sort of significant change is to be aware that a problem exists. While the simple solution is to have fewer meetings, this is not acceptable in most organizations. The best next solution? Make the most out of the meetings you are in.

Here are 8 things you can do to make the most of your meeting time:

  1. Prepare for your meetings in advance
  2. Designate a strict begin- and end-time policy
  3. Make sure your meetings have an agenda
  4. See every meeting as an opportunity to move things forward
  5. Give the meeting your focused attention (No checking your email!)
  6. Give thought to what you are going to say – before you say it; this will help you be more focused and relevant with your words
  7. First seek to understand before resisting someone else’s comment
  8. Speak up when the conversation has gotten off track