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Stop wasting time in meetings: 7 tips for making your meeting super productive

Jonathan Harris pointed out eloquently ‘all we have in life is our time’. So, we must be very careful about how we spend our precious hours. For startups time is scarce because you have too many things to do. Managing your time well and investing those precious hours on something important is critical for your success. 

Meetings often consume a significant amount of our time but it seldom produces anything of value. Rather a long meeting is a pure waste of time.

But as reality demands we can’t avoid meetings altogether. But we can make our meetings productive just by rethinking how we usually do it and tweaking the format a bit. It requires focus, determination, and discipline. If you decide to call a meeting try to make your meeting a productive one by sticking to these simple rules:

  1. Time limit: Make your meetings shorter. 30 minutes is often more than enough to talk and come up with a solution. Keep a timer. When it rings, meeting is over. Be strict about it.
  2. Limited number of people: Invite as few people as possible. 5-8 is a good number. More people mean more talk and less control. So, keep it limited. A small crowd will give you more control, focus, and discipline.
  3. No ambiguity: Always have clear meeting agenda and make sure everyone understands it.
  4. Preparation: Send your agenda ahead of meeting to every attendee. Ask to take preparation.
  5. No discussion, get into problem: Without further discussion on agenda, as you sent it beforehand, go directly into the heart of problems.
  6. Work on a problem: Start with a problem and end with a solution.
  7. Make someone FPR: End your meeting with some concrete idea for solution and make someone first person responsible for experimenting and fixing it.
Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at [email protected]

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