Zack Gallinger-Long

15-Minute Meetings


15-minute meetings have concise agendas and valuable returns. Not only do they save time but they also align with the latest research on limited attention spans. Let's examine specific ways you can leverage these quick meetings to save time and get more done.



Parkinson's Law

Parkinson's Law teaches us that activities will expand to fill the time allotted. Similarly, people will become more efficient with their time if they know a meeting is short. Start scheduling focused conversations for 15-minutes and you'll be surprised how much time you can save.




Sense of Urgency

Since 15-minute meetings require participants to get down to business fairly quickly, more people will be sensitive to conversations veering off-topic. The brief nature of the meeting creates vigilant adherence to the agenda to ensure all topics get discussed.


One trick for adhering to the short timeline is to set a timer nearby that is counting down to zero. The shrinking window of time creates a sense of urgency that will further encourage you to quicken the pace of your conversation.



Meeting Requirements

Speaking of the meeting's agenda, let's review some of the DO / DO NOT rules for all meetings, regardless of their length.


DO provide an agenda, ideally with a description of who is speaking on each topic.

DO NOT call a meeting without a a stated purpose and intended outcome.


DO capture action items at the end of the meeting, clearly indicate who is responsible for each item and by when.

DO NOT leave a meeting with only a verbal understanding of next steps. (People will forget what they agreed to)


DO allow people to set their own reasonable timeline.

DO NOT allow for vague deadlines such as next week, be specific with the date and time of each deadline.

Example: "Are we committing to 10am Wednesday or EOD Friday?"


Reminder: you are asking someone to stop what they are doing and give you their full attention. It is your responsibility to make the meeting worthy of their time by making it as efficient and productive as possible.

Do all meetings need to be scheduled so tight? No, there are some meetings where casual conversation is the entire purpose of the meeting. The 15-minute meeting is simply a tool for efficiently managing certain types of conversations.


The next time you find yourself about to schedule a default 30-minute meeting, pause, and ask yourself if it could be done in half that time. Doing this just a couple times per day can result in multiple hours being added back into your workweek.

 

What tips do you have for efficient meeting management? Please share them on LinkedIn

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