People are easily distracted. When we meet, we get excited, and often there are so many things on our minds that we want to share it all.

So meetings sort of spill out into this collective open discussion about many different topics. This is especially true when a meeting is booked without a clear purpose.

Because of this, I find that most meetings can go on for 30 to 45 minutes more than they need to.

When we set a meeting, ideally there should only be one purpose for it.

That way you know whether or not the meeting should be set, and if it happens, whether or not it was successful.

If you're the one leading the meeting, it's much easier to keep things on track this way.

Before you start your next meeting, ask;

"What is the one thing I want to make sure happens this meeting?"

When you see things get off track, you can gently nudge people back to task.

You may have to do this several times.

I feel much more prepared and clear when I know what a meeting is for. And when things get off track, I am aware of that, and I can ensure that before things wrap up we got to what was needed.

P.S.

Any time spent connecting with your colleagues or employees is time well spent. Most meetings could be 1-15 minutes of catching up, and about 10-15 minutes of discussion.

P.P.S.

If your default time amount for a meeting was 30 minutes instead of 60, how would that change things? What about 15 minutes?