Do most of your teammates dread going to meetings? Meetings take up an enormous amount of time – when handled properly, they are powerful productivity boosters, but otherwise, they can be an energy drain.

Meetings aren’t necessary if collaboration takes place naturally within the flow of the workday. But they definitely have their place and are needed when they spark unique ideas that otherwise wouldn’t happen.

To make them more fun, efficient, and productive try these ideas:

  1. Create a detailed agenda… and goals.

Most people do create and send agenda for their meetings, but sometimes, they miss out one key component – the desired results. Stating a goal or desired outcome for each of the points on the agenda, and for the entire meeting in general, will give the conversations a direction. Moreover, the group will be forced to drop unrelated and unnecessary topics, saving time in the process.

  1. Set a time limit and meet it.

Now that you have your goals in place, put a time limit for achieving it. Too often, meetings don’t have an end time associated with them, and can go on for hours without needing to.

By putting a time limit on your meeting, people will be more focused and will likely complete their discussions within the given time. This reduces fluff and unnecessary banter that often occurs in meetings.

  1. Make it playful.

Why not try inserting a game into the meeting? As kids, we learned by playing games, and it could still be handy as we age. Adding a few fun activities will help the team create bonds and let loose, letting creative ideas flow better.

For example, you can give out a token for every problem solved, or to the person who contributes the most feasible ideas — say, a Starbucks giftcard or free lunch.

  1. Create some ground rules.

To do away with bad habits that make meeting stretch longer than they should, lay some ground rules.

For example, you can make it a rule that every problem presented must have an equal proposed solution. That way, you get the ball rolling faster, and this ensures that everyone did their homework, too!

  1. Set some time to celebrate.

Apart from coordination and problem solving, meetings are also great for boosting morale! End the meeting on a high note by setting some time aside to name things you can celebrate. Each one on the team can get to mention something that is going well with their tasks, or even their personal life. This gives everyone something to learn from, and also gives a chance for your team to celebrate each other – giving you better results, overall.

(Image Credit: Meeting)