If you’re a manager, you know what it feels like to be on a meeting treadmill—each seems to be less meaningful than the last, since you’ve had virtually no time to prep, create an agenda, or even tackle your to-do list for the day. A shift to “just-do-it” meetings not only helps increase the time you have to work, but it also creates space for more thoughtful interactions with your direct reports, which will strengthen your workplace relationships.
How to Run a "Just-Do-It" Meeting
- “State of Play” Memos: Ask reports to email you a strategic agenda in advance. Five minutes before the meeting begins, prioritize one or two areas to tackle, depending on what's most important to your team and the organization.
- Real-time investigation: When your direct report arrives, immediately focus on those topics and determine what next steps need to be taken. If the only thing that stands between you making a decision is a piece of knowledge, like a peer’s input or publicly available data, it's time to "just do it": find out that information during the meeting itself. Similarly, if you want someone else to join to learn about a specific topic, invite them in for just that part of the meeting.
- Keep moving. Cover the rest of the items in order of importance, implementing real-time investigation and visiting hours as you go. With every to-do list item completed, there’s more time to focus on big-picture goals.
Takeaway: Make meetings more productive by give them a “just-do-it” structure. Go in with the mindset to get things done so there’s more time to focus on bigger goals.