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Waste Time at Meetings? Try These 8 Meeting Management Tips

Waste Time at Meetings? Try These 8 Meeting Management Tips

We all have meetings everyday. Meetings are supposed to be the best tool for you to communicate with your colleagues face-to-face and to come up with some great ideas. But in reality, team meetings actually cost more than you think such as wasted time. Effective meetings that produce results begins with meeting planning. Here are 9 meeting management tips that can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a meeting.

  1. Identify your company goal/ project goal/ meeting goal. You should know what you expect to achieve by the end of the meeting. Will you have created a set of actions that the team can execute on afterwards to achieve the goal? Otherwise, team mates will just daydream about where to have lunch.
  2. Be on time, both starting time and ending time. Once you have set a time limit, you will be more productive. Just imagine your laptop has only 1.5 hours battery left and you have to send 10 emails before the battery runs dead. You have to hurry up before the computer shuts down automatically, this way you will become highly productive in the following 90 minutes. Setting time limits actually creates a sense of urgency and lets the whole team complete the discussion in a timely manner.
  3. Designate a moderator for the meeting. It needs a moderator to guide it through any problems that might arise, for example if people stray off topic, derail, go over time on certain points. It also encourages those attending the meeting to be prepared. Without a leader, the meeting can meander and never reach its destination.
  4. Every participant should come to the meeting prepared. Some colleagues keep quiet during the whole meeting or fail to make valid points because they are unprepared. By being prepared, everyone can build a sense of understanding about the topic of the meeting and give valuable contribution in the meeting. There is no time wasted, explaining parts of the agenda.
  5. Always end meetings  with “Decision and actions”. Don’t assume that ideas discussed during a meeting will be put into action or even remembered. Often people need a gentle nudge to remind them about completing an action. Leaders need to check to ensure that actions are taking place as agreed. Without actions, the time spent on meetings is totally wasted. All actions should have a designated owner so that the tasks have someone to drive it.
  6. Don’t blame or criticize. To criticize is easy, but to do the job is not. Blaming camouflages the real problems. It keeps the focus away from appreciating what the team have done and what’s going right.
  7. Recognize others contributions and strengths. Recognizing the contributions that colleagues make to the team helps solidify the relationships and foster colleagues loyalty to the team.
  8. State problems with 3 minutes and start with recommendation and solutions. It is common that participants spend too much time on discussing the problems. In fact, the process of sorting out solutions is much more important than talking about problems. Don’t waste your time on something that already exists, spend your time wisely on how you can solve the issue.

Featured photo credit:  Team of casual looking business people having business meeting via Shutterstock

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Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

I wrote a few articles about starting a business based on something you love doing and are passionate about. I received several responses from people saying they weren’t sure how to go about figuring out what they were most passionate about or how to find their true purpose. So I’m dedicating this article to these issues — how to find your entrepreneurial passion and purpose.

When I work with a new client, the first thing we talk about is lifestyle design. I ask each client, “What do you want your life to look like?” If you designed a business without answering this question, you could create a nice, profitable business that is completely incompatible with your goals in life. You’d be making money, but you’d probably be miserable.

When you’re looking for your life purpose, lifestyle design isn’t a crucial component. However, since we’re talking about entrepreneurial purpose, lifestyle design is indeed crucial to building a business that you’ll enjoy and truly be passionate about.

For example, say you want to spend more time at home with your family. Would you be happy with a business that kept you in an office or out of town much of the time? On the flip side, if you wanted to travel and see the world, how well could you accomplish that goal if your business required your presence, day in and day out, to survive? So start by getting some clarity on your personal goals and spend some time working on designing your life.

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At this point, you may need a little prodding, and you may want to hire a coach or mentor to work with you through this process. Many people are very used to the idea that there is a particular way a life “should” be. There are certain milestones most people tend to live by, and if you don’t meet those markers when or in the manner you’re “supposed” to meet them, that can cause some anxiety.

Here’s how to find your passion and purpose:

Give Yourself Permission to Dream a Little

Remember that this is your life and you can live it however you choose. Call it meditation or fantasy, but let your imagination run here. And answer this question:

“If you had no fears or financial limitations, what would your ideal life, one in which you could be totally content and happy, look like?”

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Once you’ve figured out your lifestyle design, it’s time to do a little more soul-searching to figure out what you’re truly passionate about. This is a time to really look within and look back.

Specifically, look back over your life history. When were you the happiest? What did you enjoy doing the most? Remember that what you’re looking for doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire job, but can actually be aspects of your past jobs or hobbies that you’ve really enjoyed.

Think About a Larger Life Purpose

Many successful entrepreneurs have earned their place in history by setting out to make a difference in the world. Is there a specific issue or cause that is important to you or that you’re particularly passionate about?

For some, this process of discovery may come easily. You may go through these questions and thought experiments and find the answers quickly. For others, it may be more difficult. In some cases, you may suffer from a generalized lack of passion and purpose in your life.

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Sometimes, this can come from having suppressed passion in your life for too long. Sometimes, it can come from eating poorly and lack of exercise. But occasionally, it may have something to do with your internal chemistry or programming. If the latter applies to you, it may be useful for you to seek help in the form of a coach, mentor, or counselor.

In other cases, not knowing your true purpose may be a matter of having not discovered it yet: you may not have found anything that makes your heart beat faster. If this is the case, now is the time to explore!

The Internet is a fantastic tool for learning and exploration. Search hobbies and careers and learn as much as you can about any topic that triggers your interest, then follow up at the library on the things that really intrigue you. Again, remember that this is your life and only you can give yourself permission to explore all that the world has available to you.

How Do You Know When You’ve Found Your True Entrepreneurial Purpose?

I can only tell you how I knew when I had discovered my own — it didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks. Rather, it settled over me, bringing a deep sense of peace and commitment. It felt like I had arrived home and knew exactly what to do and how to proceed.

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Everything flowed easily from that point forward. That’s not to say that I found success immediately after that moment. But rather, the path ahead of me was clear, so I knew what to do.

Decisions were easier and came faster to me. And success has come on MY terms, according to my own definitions of what success means to me in my own lifestyle design.

Dig deep, look within, and seek whatever help you need. Once you find that purpose and passion, your life — not just your entrepreneurial life, but your entire life — will never be the same.

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Featured photo credit: Garrhet Sampson via unsplash.com

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