Be super efficient – step 6 Shorter meetings

Why do all meetings have to be one hour? My calendar is often packed from 8am-5pm, back-to-back with meetings. No lunch time and no transit time for get from one meeting to another. At every meeting people arrive late. Why? Because, they also have a back-to-back calendar.


It is super efficient Tuesday! My advice today is one that I have not fully implemented myself. But I am trying. It work best if your firm set this a general rule.

My statement!

There are:

  • too many meetings
  • too many inefficient meetings
  • too long meetings
  • often – too many people in the meetings!

Have you ever been to a meeting, where the conclusion is to have a new meeting?

Ouch, a tough truth to handle. You cannot handle it alone. This is cultural issue. But there is one thing you can do yourself.

Take control over the meetings you are responsible of! 

Shorter meetings!

If you want to create some space in your daily calendar, you need more efficient and shorter and less meetings. For me, the simplest way to start is to make a general rule the normal one-hour meetings are 45 minutes.

Foto: Ingar Steinholt
Foto: Ingar Steinholt

If you want to be successful, you should consider these 10 steps:

  1. Set the length of meetings to 30, 45 or 75 minutes, instead of the normal 60 and 90 minutes!
  2. Have an agenda and proposals, that have been distributed, at least 24 hours, before the meeting
  3. Start on time!
  4. Communicate the purpose of the meeting, when you start the meeting
  5. Make sure everybody put away their phone and laptop!
  6. If people arrive late, do not waste time on updating them!
  7. Stop «war stories» or people who continously talk about issues off topic. I know, you feel rude interrupting people who talk off topic. It is easier if you all agree on the purpose of the meeting.
  8. Keep an eye on your watch. If you realize that you will not get through the agenda, prioritize and finalize the most important topic.
  9. Stop the discussions a few minutes before the end of the meeting. Sum up and communicate agreements from the meeting and next steps!
  10. Make to the point minutes with clear action points, that are distributed within the next 24 hours! Follow my advice from last week, use OneNote!

Remember! Not all meeting fit into a strict agenda and speakers list. Arrange brain storming meeting and / or meetings to share war stories. I would combine these kind of meetings with lunch or a walk outside 😉

Have a great week!


Cecilia 🙂

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