How to Decide if a Meeting is Necessary

December 19, 2019

Have you ever had a day when you felt like you didn’t accomplish any work because you spent the whole day in meetings? According to Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings report, the cost of poorly organized meetings in 2019 will reach $399 billion in the U.S. Before you add something else to your co-workers’ calendars, take a moment to think it through and make sure it’s a valuable use of everyone’s time.

Here are four questions to ask yourself to help determine if you need that meeting.

  1. Does the meeting have a clear goal?

First and foremost, every meeting should have a clear goal for what will come out of it. Once it’s established, you will have a better idea if a meeting is the best way to accomplish what’s needed. If you’re looking for ideas, discussion and collaboration between team members before making decisions or launching plans and campaigns, go ahead and book that meeting. However, scheduling a meeting for feedback, deliverables from team members or to delegate tasks is an inefficient use of everyone’s time. The same outcome could be achieved via one-on-one conversations or email.

  1. Is the matter urgent or time-sensitive?

First, inform necessary parties via immediate communication methods, such as chat or email. From there you can determine if an additional sit-down meeting is necessary. If the issue requires input or advisement from other team members, a meeting at this point is necessary.

  1. Are we meeting about a project that has not been discussed or kicked off yet?

It’s important to dedicate time to getting everyone into a room, getting on the same page, and talking through responsibilities, deliverables and deadlines needed from the group in order to get an initiative off the ground. On the other hand, if the project has already been kicked off in a prior meeting, consider rotating between bi-weekly status report meetings and virtual check-ins on progress.

  1. Is this meeting the most valuable use of everyone’s time?

Bottom line, a meeting takes team members away from work they could otherwise be doing. Therefore, you should only use their time to discuss something that is going to have real impact to your work or organization. Work through these quick questions before sending out your next meeting invite, and you’ll only have productive meetings that yield real results.

Mornings are overwhelmingly the best time to hold a meeting – with 70% of professionals preferring meetings between 8am and 12pm.

-Doodle 2019 State of Meetings Report

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