Time management is important but, when thinking about being efficient, are you thinking logically? Could this meeting be replaced with an e-mail? Or, more importantly, could it be shortened with one? Are you handing out documents during the meeting that you could have sent out with the meeting invitation and had everyone review ahead of time so that they could come in with questions as opposed to reading it during the meeting?
I understand the importance of face time. I am not ignorant to the fact that everything cannot be handled digitally. But some meetings don’t have to be meetings. I’m not a fan of sitting around a table and skimming through papers together, waiting on someone who reads slower than me to make his/her way through a sheet. I’m going to check out after that first page and I’ll probably be working on something else in my mind (or in my notebook). But, if I got an e-mail that said, “Let’s have a team meeting on Friday at 10. Review the attached documents, come with some ideas, and let’s discuss for 30 to 45 minutes”, I’d be much more excited about the meeting.
Common sense isn’t the most common thing. But, with your help, we can make it common. Change the culture of the workplace.
Make professional development a priority.