How do I schedule meetings with intention?

To schedule meetings with intention, set an agenda, schedule shorter meetings, make meetings optional, move daily huddles to electronic tools, or make meetings asynchronous.

Each employee has a lot to do in their workday. When you schedule meetings with them, it is important to be mindful of everyone’s time. Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if you can manage any particular communication with written or video communication instead of gathering people together. If the answer is yes, use those tools to give the information you would have otherwise presented in the meeting.

If the answer is no, how can you ensure you schedule meetings with intention?

Set an agenda for the meeting

Create an agenda and send it to your employees so they know what to expect at the meeting and so they can prepare any materials they need to review, present or bring beforehand.

Schedule shorter meetings

If you schedule a 30-minute meeting and have covered everything you need to talk about in 15 minutes, you can end the meeting early. Also, consider making your meetings 20 minutes long—long enough to cover everything you need to cover and short enough not to take too much time out of the day.

Make meetings optional

There are meetings where only certain people need to be there. Make sure only those people who need to be there are there, and don’t invite or make attendance optional for those employees who do not need to be there.

Move daily huddle meetings to electronic tools

If you have a daily sprint meeting with your employees to check in on how they are doing with their tasks, consider moving those meetings to an electronic tool like Slack or Teams, where you can ask everyone what is on their agenda. You can also include a daily agenda section in your project management software to ask employees the same question.

Make meetings asynchronous

If your team spans multiple time zones or countries, consider making your meetings asynchronous so not everyone has to be there simultaneously. Post the necessary information your team needs to know in your communications channel or send it through email so they can ask questions and learn the information at their own pace.