There’s an epidemic sweeping this country that is costing businesses millions of dollars every year — the unproductive meeting! The average American employee spends 5.5 hours in meetings every week… that’s 286 hours a year! And 71% of those employees feel that their meetings aren’t actually productive. So what does that mean? These meetings are wasting your time and money!

The good news is that you do NOT need to fall victim to this epidemic. Just like with every other area of your practice, you should be planning your meeting time with intention. Here are some tips that we use at the Scheduling Institute to keep our meetings on-track, productive, and efficient!

  1. Scheduling meetings in the morning when possible. Your mind is awake, alert, and not bogged down with all the tasks or emails that can cause stress and distractions.
  2. Plan your meetings in advance.  Sure, there are always some meetings that just pop up, but most of them can wait a week. If you’re pre-planning your meetings, you will give yourself time to really think of what you want to accomplish in that meeting and the result you want to produce. It also allows you to stick to your calendar blocking!
  3. Prepare an agenda. If you prepare an agenda before a meeting, set times for certain topics, and pre-determine the goal of the meeting, you are significantly more likely to actually achieve that goal. Often time’s people are “figuring it out” as they go, meaning you’re wasting time (and money) when you could have spent 5 minutes preparing beforehand. That’s just laziness!
  4. Know when a short meeting won’t work. Sometimes a quick 20-30 minute meeting just isn’t enough to accomplish what needs to happen. Look at your areas and see when ones are in need of more time and attention. It may be better to have one full day meeting, a “vision meeting” as we call it, rather than several short meetings.
  5. Always start with a win. Even in your meetings you should be staying in your bubble! So start every single one by going around the room and sharing a win. It can be personal or professional, but it will force everyone to get in a positive mindset so you don’t spend time complaining about the things that aren’t quite perfect.

Mastering your meeting time is vital to mastering your Human Capital. And for all Doctors and Team Leaders — when you’re in meetings, remember that you are a leader and you should be acting like it.  Your tone, comments, and engagement are a direct reflection of the quality of the meeting and the quality of your practice. You’ll see that a really successful meeting can produce outstanding results and get your Human Capital focused and engaged on your vision and goals for the practice!