How to Reduce Meeting Time & Save Heaps of Money

How to Reduce Meeting Time & Save Heaps of Money

An article by Getting a Grip founder, Robyn Pearce.

Through the pandemic one thing that didn’t change, was the number of meetings. For many, there have been even more. Perhaps you were one of the many who felt Zoomed out!

The major difference was location. Possibly you had to work around home schooling demands, family members interrupting your concentration, the dog whining for a toilet stop, or the cat marching across your keyboard.

One thing didn’t change, however – complaints about wasted time.

Case study:

Some years ago, I was engaged to run a year-long programme of coaching and training for a trans-Tasman marketing team. In her briefing, the New Zealand GM said, ‘Robyn, we have a shocking wastage of time with meetings.’ So that became part of our focus.

Here’s what Kate, a senior product manager, reported a couple of weeks after we’d begun working together:

 1. Instead of driving into the city twice in the previous week she asked two of her advertising agencies to come to her office. It might not have saved time for the agencies, but after all, whose money was it? Saving: 3 hours of travel time. 

2. She was invited to a very important presentation for a major client. It was in her own building and moderated by one of her colleagues. In the past Kate would have sat through the full event – over 5 hours. Instead she asked to be called when required for her contribution. That only took 45 minutes. Saving: 4 ½ hours.

3. With her better meeting management skills, she kept an internal meeting (that previously had always gone overtime) on track and to time. Saving: at least ½ an hour.

Total time saved that week: 8 hours. 

Add to that the other work she did achieve and you can see why Kate was excited about her output and progress the next time we talked!

Enjoy more efficient meetings

Karlea, another project leader, also had regular external agency meetings. One of her frustrations was lack of clear outcomes and clear incisive next steps from some meetings. So, for the next one her major focus was to make sure ‘next steps’ were in place before they all left the room. The sharp intention resulted in far better results than previously.

She was also aware of not involving her colleagues unnecessarily. Instead of five people sitting through a 1 ½ hour meeting (7 hours 30 minutes of company time), by inviting people only for the part relevant to themselves the total time invested became 2 hours 50 minutes, a saving to the company of 4 hours 40 minutes. 

In dollars that equated to a saving over $1,000 in direct costs, without even factoring in things like the cost of the desk, phone, building, support staff and of course the opportunity cost of so many staff not getting on with other vital work.

Questions to consider:

What can you do, or already do, to save meeting time? 

Could you reduce the number of meetings you attend? 

Have you tried having some meeting-free days in your week?

For over three decades Robyn Pearce, CSP built a reputation as the Time Queen. She’s the author of seven non-fiction books and creator of the Getting a Grip Programmes, which are now delivered by her successor – Lauren Parsons, CSP. The Getting a Grip Training Programmes can help you transform your time challenges into high productivity and the life balance you desire. Find out more here

Download the free report “How to Master Time In Only 90 Seconds”, a simple yet powerful diagnostic tool to help you identify your key areas for action. You’ll find it here

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