I challenge you to look at your calendar and count up the number of meetings waiting for you this week. Do you feel overwhelmed? If you’re like most people, meetings take most of your work time and tend to make us feel pressured by the amount of work ahead of us.

Before you send or accept your next meeting invite, think about a few key things to help you be more efficient and effective.

  • Review Your Goals. Have you ever left a meeting wondering why you were even there? In order to make the most of your and the attendee’s time, make sure you put together a clear agenda to keep the meeting moving and on task.
  • Consider Who to Invite. Once you have a clear understanding of the objectives you want to achieve, be careful of whom you invite. Are you trying to brainstorm? Pack the house. Trying to make a decision? Keep it small. The right invite list can make the difference between wasting time and meeting goals.
  • Shall we stand? Some research has shown that meetings can be done quickly if you chose to stand rather than sit. If your meeting needs to review details, it’s best to have a seat. But, if your time is tight, think on your feet.

Collaboration is an important part of the business world. Be sure you’re utilizing your time to the best possible end while protecting the time you need to complete your tasks. As you prioritize your day, week, and month keep in mind the importance of productivity. Sometimes when you are asked to set up a meeting, the right answer might be no.