Have you ever been to a meeting that lasts half the day? It feels like such a waste of time, despite the fact that important things are being discussed and decided. There are 3 ways to shorten your meetings and make them more productive.

1. Set a specific cut-off time

If you allow the meeting to run indefinitely, there’s no motivation for everyone to keep things short and sweet. Set a cut off time, maybe even set an actual timer, so that you and others will keep briefings and presentations concise and to-the-point.

2. Establish an objective and stick to it

Think about what you would like to accomplish with the meeting and make it known at the outset of the meeting. Come back periodically to that objective throughout the meeting, to make sure everyone is contributing information that is vital to that objective. Whenever bunny rabbit trails begin, guide the conversation back to the task at hand. Remind everyone that doing this helps keep the meeting shorter. No one wants to be in a long meeting!

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a short break

If you notice your team members are having a hard time concentrating, take a 5-10 minute break for people to get coffee or use the restroom. Sometimes a short break can actually help keep things flowing.

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