Time Management Tip: How to Effectively Manage Time in a Meeting

posted in: Time Management 3

How to Effectively Manage Time in a MeetingLooking to better manage time in a meeting at work, school or other activity?

Today’s post gives you a few tips to help you keep things on track and in sync with the clock.

Identify goals for your meeting.

It’s quite simple, but figuring out your goals first will help set the stage for better managing your time in a meeting.

For example, after identifying your goals you might find you need more time for your meeting than you originally thought and end up setting up a series of recurring meetings.

On the other hand, mapping out your meeting goals might save you some time.

You might realize you don’t need to hold a meeting after all and can have your concerns and questions successfully addressed via email or phone.

Create an agenda with time references.

Agendas are great ways to keep track of the items and issues you’d like to address in a meeting.

Agendas with time references are even better.

Give a rough estimate of the time it will take to cover each aspect of the items in your agenda.

Make sure your time estimates add up to the meeting’s time length, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to squeeze in two hours’ worth of time into an hour-long meeting!

Refer to the agenda freely during the meeting to make sure you are on track with your time.

Identify and work with a timekeeper.

Contrary to popular belief, managing time in a meeting is not the responsibility of the timekeeper, it is responsibility of the meeting manager (you’ll note I did not title this tip, “Let the timekeeper manage the time in the meeting.”).

While it is a timekeeper’s job to keep track of the time, it is up to you to manage the time appropriately by making sure agenda items are being covered appropriately, ideas and discussions are kept relevant to the meeting, and so forth.

Looking for help on working well with a timekeeper? Check out my post, Time Management Tip: Making Peace with The Timekeeper.

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Minimize disturbances.

Do everything possible and in your power to minimize disturbances during your meeting.

Disturbances disrupt the flow of a meeting and can easily tack on unexpected minutes.

Kindly ask people to refrain from entering the meeting space and/or use another area during the meeting, perhaps turning off unnecessary electronic devices, and the like.

Start on time…and end on time.

Make the most of the time you have by starting and ending a meeting on time.

Starting on time will allow you to use the full minutes and hours available to you, otherwise you’ll be working extra hard to squeeze things in the meeting.

Ending a meeting on time, even if you have more agenda items to cover, shows that you not only respect your time, but others’ time, as well.

Whether or not the meeting ran late was an error on your part, you’ll have first-hand experience of what it really takes to manage time well during a meeting.

Now to you…what do you think takes up the most amount of time in any meeting? What steps have you taken in past to offset this time eater? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

3 Responses

  1. […] Number 4. Time Management Tip: How to Effectively Manage Time in a Meeting […]

  2. […] What to focus on: Keep to the agenda and effectively manage time. […]

  3. James Mabor

    i have got all what i was looking for, thanks for your help and keep up…