Maybe all those meetings you have aren't necessary. And if they are, maybe they needn't be as long. There are three things that guarantee zone-outs: rehashing what everyone already knows, talking about things that are relevant to only two or three people in the group, and going off topic.
A selection of tips from Seth Godin on how to make your meetings more effective:
• Understand that all problems are not the same. So why are your meetings? Does every issue deserve an hour? Why is there a default length?
• Remove all the chairs from the conference room. I'm serious. [This might not work for story meetings, but can you imagine how much more quickly a weekly update meeting would go?]
• Bring an egg timer to the meeting. When it goes off, you're done. Not your fault, it's the timer's.
• The organizer of the meeting is required to send a short email summary, with action items, to every attendee within ten minutes of the end of the meeting.
I'd add to the list Start All Meetings On Time.
Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.