|When was the last time you walked out of a meeting and said, “Now that was time well spent!”? In the U.S., there are approximately 25 million meetings held each day—and it’s a safe bet that our own meeting rates are comparable here in Canada. Collectively, organizations spend about 15 percent of their time in them. Is all this time being put to good use?According to executives, the answer is no. They reason that 67 percent of meeting time is not useful. Further, an estimated $37 billion is wasted each year on unproductive meeting time. Certainly, there is still a place for team assemblies and meetings; however, there seems to be room for improvement. Here are some tips on putting your nonprofit’s meeting time to good use to ensure its precious time is time well spent.|
Get the most out of your meetings
Organizations and participants alike can do their part to get the most out of meeting time. If you’re the organizer, provide an agenda in advance so participants know what to expect and how to prepare. Be sure to include and abide by start and end times. Also, be clear about which participants are optional and which are required—nobody wants to waste their time sitting in a meeting that’s not relevant to them or their work. And finally, be a good facilitator by keeping everyone on point. Worthwhile conversations that stray off topic can be put in a hypothetical “parking lot” and discussed at a later time. Consider keeping track of “parked” issues on a Dry-Erase Memo Board, displayed in meeting rooms, for easy recall.
Here are a few additional tips that can help participants focus and get the most out of meeting time:
Practice these tips and leave your next meeting with a sense of accomplishment. Give it try!
Dockweiler, Scott. “How Much Time Do We Spend in Meetings? (Hint: It’s Scary).” The Muse. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 25 Sept. 2015.
Cincotta, Craig. “6 Ways to Make Sure Every Meeting Is a Productive One.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 11 Feb. 2015. Web. Retrieved 25 Sept. 2015.
“Mindfulness.” Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 25 Sept. 2015.
Matta, Christy. “New to Mindfulness? How to Get Started.” PsychCentral. N.p., 01 June 2013. Web. Retrieved 26 Sept. 2015.
“7 Mindfulness Apps To Help You Refocus.” Time.com. Time, 4 June 2014. Web. Retrieved 26 Sept. 2015.
Kanter, Beth. “The Secret Sauce for Productive Nonprofit Meetings That No One Talks About.” BethKanter.org. N.p., 03 Sept. 2015. Web. Retrieved 25 Sept. 2015.
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