Whether you work for yourself or for another company — meetings are a thing that will happen.
Back when I worked in a cubicle farm (my first corporate job) — I remember realizing how unproductive our countless meetings would be. We would have daily meetings, some going over 2-3 hours, and when the team would walk out we would just all stare at each other more confused than when we first started the meeting.
As much as I disliked that job (so many spreadsheets!) it taught me how important it is to keep things simple when it comes to meetings.
Now meetings are more exciting for me as I get to chat with other creatives and brainstorm ideas for their brands. But I still have learned that some structure should take place when having any type of meeting so that your time is used wisely.
Here are my 5 Tips for having a Highly Productive Meeting every single time.
1. BE PREPARED
Before any meeting starts I like to have a small outline of the topics that will be discussed — any points I want to mention and questions that come to mind. This helps me know what we need to talk about and get straight to work. It also helps avoid those moments where you blank out and forget to ask the important questions. It’s a simple tip but it definitely ensures that I have a productive meeting every single time.
2. GET READY EARLY
When I have a meeting scheduled, I always add an extra alert to go off 10 minutes before the call. This way I have time to get things situated and ready for the upcoming meeting.
For me this means a quick declutter of my background for those Zoom meetings, taking out a cute notebook to take notes during my meeting, refilling my water tumbler, opening any screens I might need (for meetings that require screen share). Having these extra 10 minutes where I get ready really helps me get in the zone and feel ready for any meeting.
3. PUT AWAY ALL DISTRACTIONS
Whether you are meeting face-to-face, having a Zoom meeting, or just chatting on the phone — I always turn off any distractions. I put my phone and computer on “Do Not Disturb” mode, close my inbox, and silence any other notifications.
This helps me stay focused and on task. And no awkward moment when you don’t hear a question someone is asking you (we’ve all been there).
4. SET A TIME LIMIT
Keep meetings between 30-60 minutes long. When working a corporate job we would have meetings that would go over 3 hours (zzz!). The issue with that is that after an hour your mind wanders off to other things and you leave the meeting with nothing gained and just feeling behind on the work that is waiting for you.
With a set time limit you are more likely to stay on task and discuss the important topics.
5. FOLLOW UP
This tip is for after your meeting — but it’s still important as it helps keep the productivity of the meeting flowing. After every meeting I take a few minutes to go over the items discussed and send over a follow up email with a quick recap. Doing this right after your meeting is always a plus because the conversation is still fresh in your mind. In my recap email I make sure to cover what was discussed, remind them of items pending, and any additional information that I need to send over.
Found our “5 Tips for a Highly Productive Meeting” helpful? Check out the JDS Blog archives for more tips on how to improve your productivity for your life and business.
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Website Designer & Developer
Melissa has a decade of experience in web design and development for small businesses, creative companies and boutiques. During any design project, she focuses on creating a collaborative experience so that her clients feel heard throughout the entire creative process. She specializes in WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace and focuses on creating an online presence and website her clients will love.