How much time to you waste in meetings?
If you’re like most people and if you really kept track, you’d probably find that you waste about 8 hours a week in meetings that don’t accomplish much. Add that up and it’s about 48 days every year (assuming 4 weeks off a year).
In case your math is fuzzy, that’s nearly ten 5-day business weeks or two and a half months.
Do You Really Waste So Much Time in Meetings?
Need convincing that you really do spend a lot of wasted time in meetings?
How to Evaluate Your Time Spent
Make a list at the end of this week of all the meetings you attended: staff meetings, team meetings, department head meetings, interdepartmental meetings, board meetings, development committee meetings, advisory group meetings and whatever other meetings you attend.
Evaluate each of them on a scale of 1 to 10 on how much they accomplished. 1 is just about worthless. 10 is pure gold.
Consider these things:
- Did you know what the objective of the meeting was?
- Did you have an agenda in advance?
- Did you leave the meeting with actionable information that was going to help you with your work?
- Did you know who was going to carry the result of the meeting forward?
- Did you participate?
- Did everyone participate?
- If you hadn’t attended the meeting, would your work have suffered?
- Are there other, more effective ways the information at the meeting might have been conveyed?
If more than half of them rank 3 or less, then you’ve got some work to do to make your work life more productive.
Productive Meetings Are a Key Ingredient of Capital Campaign Fundraising
If you’re in campaign mode, this is a great time for you learn how to get really good at planning productive meetings that leave people energized and excited and happy to be part of your campaign.
Don’t Mistake Lackluster Meetings with Lackluster Participants
Take a look at the meetings you attend. See if this list describes them:
- One person takes just about all the air time.
- Everyone sits quietly without sharing their thoughts.
- People don’t show up. Or, they show up late and leave early.
- People don’t agree to take on assignments, they just slink off.
- The energy in the room is low.
- People email or text under the table.
- Parking lot conversation is more heated than the conversation around the table.
It’s easy to imagine that meetings like this are the result of the people who attend them. And while I can’t guarantee that everyone who attends your meetings is pitch-perfect, I can assure you that if you design and manage your meetings really well, most of those symptoms will go away.
4 Posts to Help You Become a Meeting Ninja
To help you learn some essential meeting skills, here are four prior CCM posts that’ll give you a treasure trove of ideas about how to run good meetings.
- How to Design Great Meetings for Your Capital Campaign
- 5 Tips for Making Virtual Meetings Work for Your Capital Campaign
- Make Your Capital Campaign Meetings Rock in 5 Steps
- Get Everyone Talking at Your Capital Campaign Meetings
Stop blaming other people for your lackluster meetings. Learn these new meeting skills and watch what happens. Then share your experience with others in your organization and see if you can change the meeting culture in your shop.
Regain those days and weeks and months you lose in lousy meetings. With these four posts, you have the knowledge and the wherewithal to make sure each and every meeting counts.