Common phrases I’ve heard are “I hate meetings” or “that was a meeting that could have been an email”. Much maligned, meetings can be productive, with a little preparation.
6 Tips for running an efficient meeting:
1) Have an agenda: Provide it beforehand so if anyone needs an item added, they can do so
2) Every agenda item has a time: That time should be listed by the person who needs that item on the agenda
3) Do the math: As a group, decide what items need to have their own meeting (if running long and it’s urgent) or can be pushed to a subsequent meeting.
4) Who needs to leave first and when? That decides how much time you have for the meeting total.
5) Have a timer: Both literally and a person. Someone who’s responsible for tracking the time for each item.
6) Stick to it: Once the timer goes off, make a decision. Either you know what you need to know to decide, you know what action items must be done to get you there, or you know you need to do more discussion to be able to effectively decide.
Meetings that go over time, be it 30 minutes or 2 hours, waste the time of everyone in the room. Which wastes money. Which no business should do.