Have you ever heard anyone complain that a meeting wasn’t long enough? Me neither.
Have you ever been frustrated that a meeting begins with idle chatter and goes way beyond the allotted time? Me too.
In the spirit of starting on time, let’s get right to it. Here are five simple steps to start and end meetings on time, which will save you time and money.
1. End your previous task five minutes early.
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The best way to be early is to ensure your previous engagement doesn’t run late. You can accomplish this by adopting a mindset where you stop whatever you’re doing five minutes early. This gives you time to go to the bathroom; grab a cup of coffee; say hi to your assistant; check emails; or grab a seat before the gun fires.
2. Cut your originally scheduled meeting time in half.
In general, meetings and obligations tend to fill the space you give them. Estimate how long you think a meeting or task will take, then cut it in half. By limiting time, you increase your productivity, maximize efficiency and create a more highly profitable system of time management.
3. Show up early.
If you’re a swimmer and you show up right on time - that is, when the gun fires -- then you’re actually late. It’s true in meetings too. To be on time is to arrive five minutes early. For Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi, if you aren't 15 minutes early, you are late.
4. Make sure everyone knows their role.
When people know their roles in a meeting there is less confusion and more efficiency; therefore, the meeting starts and ends on time. Every meeting must include five key roles: the moderator, the note taker, the timekeeper, the participants and the closer. Each of these five roles is crucial to running successful meetings, and taking the time to assign each of the roles at the beginning of each meeting, will make your meetings more efficient and effective.
5. End meetings five minutes early.
It’s a bit unusual, but ending the meeting five minutes early gives you and your team time to transition to the next meeting or activity.
A final thought - by utilizing these steps, you will not only save time, you will save money. And who doesn’t want more time and money?