How to Make Your Meetings 25% Shorter and More Productive

Hold stand up meetings

How to Make Your Meetings 25% Shorter and More ProductiveMeetings, those wonderful events where minutes are taken and hours wasted. How many meetings have you attended or run that were pretty much a waste of time? And how many times do they drag on much longer than then should? How would you like to make your meetings 25% shorter and make them more productive?  There’s an easy and simple way to achieve this, that started as a fad, but is now becoming an established way of holding meetings. What is this amazing way of working, Hold stand up meetings.

Find a place where you can all stand around for your meeting. Remove all chairs and if you can find a tall table that makes it easier to stand on with paper or laptops all the better. If you can’t, just remove the chairs and roll with it.

The benefits of stand up meetings

Why do the meeting standing up? Because it’s slightly more uncomfortable than sitting down, particularly when your conference room has nice, cushy chairs. As a result, people will go through the meeting quicker and be more focused. That not only makes the meeting more productive, it also leaves you a lot more time to take care of everything else on your list for the day.

Standing also gives you a feeling of purpose which aids in bumping up the productivity of your meeting. Not only will you be done faster, your team may just come up with better ideas.

Standing also leaves less room for distractions. Both you and the other people attending the meeting will be less likely to check their phones, answer emails, or write down notes on an unrelated topic during a stand up meeting. With the chairs gone, there’s just no place to hide and with the meeting moving along quicker, there’s less of a temptation to start working on something unrelated.

And let’s not forget about the physical activity itself. I don’t have to tell you that standing is much better than sitting around. You can keep yourself and your team in better physical shape by holding your meetings standing up. It increases circulation and blood flow which also keeps everyone more alert and may just give you better input from your team members as well.

Give Stand-Up meetings a try and see how they are received by you and your team. Keep track of how long your meetings are taking right now and then compare that to the length of your standing meetings. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. On average your meetings should be 25 to 30% shorter and they may just be a lot more productive too.

Isn’t that combined with the fact that it’s better for everyone’s health and keeping your meeting focused and on target, worth giving this a try?

Have you ever tried stand up meetings? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Till Next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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16 thoughts on “How to Make Your Meetings 25% Shorter and More Productive

  1. The only place I’ve had stand up meetings is at a trade show. I very rarely take a table and chairs on my stand as I find it much better to stand up when talking to buyers as you can move around the stand to show them products. It also seems more informal and I think I’m easier to approach if I’m standing up. Sometimes I notice that people sitting down at tables on their stands – look like they are too busy to approach. I definitely wouldn’t want that!

  2. What a great idea, Stand Up Meetings. Never tried it but they sound like they would work and who wants to stand for hours, so yes your meetings would be shorter.

    • Hi April Even if you’re on your own, tasks like phoning clients or thinking startegically about your business can all be enhanced by standing up.

  3. During my coaching sessions with clients if one on one we may be outside having a walk and coach. These I love generally more thought provoking, defiantly more energetic and always exhilarating. I recall one session with a client we were in a park and the conversation was difficult for the client talking about challenges etc. This was all going up hill. As we reached the top of the hill a solution was found then walking down the hill the objectives were set. It was a very effective meeting as the objectives being set and momentum of going down the hill gave the client much more energy and self belief.

    • Thats great Elaine, I too like outside sessions, there just seems to be far more clarity of thought and the actions agreed tend to be somehow more meaningful

  4. Great suggestion! When I heard this for the first time from my boss – I though he was joking. Somehow we never implemented it, but just resolved to turning the air con down and pretend it was broken. It worked too!