Nothing sends a bigger groan through the system than a calendar full of meetings for the day. When will we have time to get actual work done?

No one should have to stay late or work weekends just make up for time lost sitting around a meeting table all day.

Kevin J. Delaney recently offered nine tips to fix your meetings and make the workday more productive. How many of these would you benefit from?

  1. Hold fewer meetings. Sounds simple, but research has shown that when meetings are reduced by 40%, employee production goes up 71%. Which meetings can become email conversations or open chats on programs such as Slack or Microsoft Teams?
  2. Audit your calendar. Look back at last month and see which meetings actually produced results. Which meetings do you regularly attend that don’t actually pertain to your role in the company? Start by cutting there.
  3. Meeting free days. Pick a day or two each week where no meetings can be scheduled. Force people to use Slack, email or another tool to get their answers. This will get them more comfortable with non-meeting solutions.
  4. Shorter meetings. Most meetings can accomplish their goals in 15 minutes. Also, start on time so people are not late for an appointment – or more likely, another meeting.
  5. Invite fewer people. Who are the decision makers, and who is in the room? If you are not comfortable cutting people, make the meeting optional for them and let them decide how best to use their time.
  6. Pick times strategically. No one wants a meeting first thing Monday morning or right up until Friday’s closing time.
  7. Require an agenda. How many meetings have you been in where there is either no focused objective or discussion sprawl? State the purpose of the meeting and stay on topic.
  8. Brainstorm in silence. Have people come to meetings with ideas already in hand. A great brainstorming idea that comes up on the spot is more movie magic than reality based.