Three Effective Ways to Increase Productivity and Focus in Meetings

I felt naked without my cell phone next to me during the meeting.

As I entered the room for our two-hour meeting, someone greeted me with a briefcase filled with cell phones. I was told that everyone was required to place their cell phone into the briefcase before entering the room.

My first reaction was, “No way! You are not taking my cell phone away from me.” My second reaction was, “What a great idea!” Most of the time, when I look at my cell phone during a meeting, it’s nothing critical, and it distracts me from the meeting.

Sure enough, the way the meeting was run without cell phones increased the focus and productivity. As a bonus, we even ended 20 minutes early because we got everything done on the agenda that we needed to!

I left the meeting thinking about how most of our meetings are filled with people who are only half paying attention. This lack of focus decreases productivity and increases the time it takes to get things done. In other words, the meetings are less effective, more boring, and last longer. No one wants that.

Meetings already have a bad rap for being useless. Why not think of ways to increase the effectiveness of the meeting so that they are more valuable?

3 Ways To Increase The Focus of The Meeting Which Can Increase The Effectiveness

Go Offline

We all know how distracting digital devices can be. To help everyone stay focused, ask attendees to turn off or disconnect their devices before the meeting starts. If that’s not feasible, ask everyone to place their devices in a designated spot or briefcase until the meeting ends. Another option is to put everything on airplane mode.

Make Being Late Costly

When someone is late to a meeting, it can disrupt the flow and create a sense of disrespect. One way to combat this is to make everyone except the latecomer pay for the first round of drinks or snacks. This conveys that being on time is important and shows respect for everyone else’s time.

Keep an Eye on the Clock

Meetings that run over schedule can be frustrating and inefficient. To help keep things on track, consider using a cost calculator. This is a digital clock that shows the financial cost of the meeting in real time. For example, before the meeting starts, everyone inputs their salary anonymously, and as the meeting progresses, the clock ticks up, showing how much money is spent on the meeting. This can help people be more aware of how much time is wasted and encourage them to stay on topic.

Meetings can be a powerful tool for communication, brainstorming, and problem-solving, but they can also be a huge waste of time and energy. By implementing these three simple strategies, you can increase the productivity and effectiveness of your meetings. No digital devices will help reduce distractions, and everyone else pays, and the cost calculator will emphasize the importance of being on time and staying focused. Utilizing these strategies can make your meetings more valuable, engaging, and efficient, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.

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