In the whirlwind of agency life, every minute counts. One of the biggest time-drainers for digital agencies is meetings—some important, but many unnecessary. Sure, meetings are crucial for team alignment and collaboration, but they can also be productivity killers when not executed properly. How can you minimize unnecessary meetings without sacrificing important communication? Here's a roadmap to help you and your team.
Set a clear purpose and agenda
Before even scheduling a meeting, consider its purpose. What are the objectives? If the aim of the meeting can be achieved through an email or a quick chat on Slack, skip the formal gathering.
Recommendation: Use detailed agenda templates sent out in advance to ensure everyone is prepared and aligned. A clear agenda sets the tone for an effective meeting.
We’ve written about how to improve client meetings in the past, some of the techniques can also be used for those meetings.
Be highly selective about attendance
Every member of your team is a specialist in their area. So, not everyone needs to attend every meeting. Reduce the attendee list to only those whose input is crucial for the agenda topics.
Recommendation: Use scheduling tools like Doodle to find the most convenient meeting times for essential participants. If the majority can't find a convenient time, maybe the meeting should be reconsidered.
Opt for asynchronous updates when possible
Sometimes the need for real-time conversation is less urgent, and the information could be disseminated asynchronously.
Introduce 'No Meeting' days
A full day without meetings can be a productivity boon for your team. Use this time for focused work that requires longer periods of uninterrupted time.
Recommendation: Use shared calendars like Google Calendar to block off 'No Meeting' days. This ensures everyone is aware and can plan their workflow accordingly.
There’s also a variety of other products which came to life in the past years which can help you with focus-time. Here are two which we think should be highlighted:
Clockwise is a simple and easy-to-use tool that allows you to block time on your calendar for focus work. You can create custom time blocks, set notifications, and track your progress. This is an AI product which optimizes your team’s schedules to create more time in everyone’s day
RescueTime is a time tracking app that can help you identify where your time is going. You can use RescueTime to create focus sessions, which will block distractions and track your productivity.
Use post-meeting solutions for those who missed out
Sometimes, despite best efforts, key team members might miss important meetings. Instead of organizing follow-up meetings to bring them up to speed—thereby doubling the time investment—consider using post-meeting solutions.
Recommendation: Clearword.com specializes in this space. The platform offers features that allow absentees to quickly catch up on what they missed, thus eliminating the need for additional follow-up meetings. From meeting summaries to key action items and decisions, Clearword.com ensures that even if team members can't attend a meeting, they won't miss out on what was discussed.
Regularly evaluate meeting effectiveness
It's crucial to keep checking whether meetings are being effective or just eating up time. Simple post-meeting surveys can yield a wealth of insights into what’s working and what needs to change.
Recommendation: Use survey platforms like SurveyMonkey to quickly gather team feedback on meeting effectiveness. The data can be invaluable for continually improving your meeting culture.
Minimizing unnecessary meetings in a digital agency involves more than just reducing their frequency. It's about making each meeting more effective, being selective about who needs to attend, and providing resources for those who couldn't make it. Tools like Doodle, Slack, and Clearword.com can make this journey much easier, helping your agency save time and focus on what truly matters: delivering stellar work for your clients.