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Keep Meetings on Track (In-Person and Virtually)

Posted by Christen Barbercheck on

There is nothing worse than a busy day of meetings where they all seem to go long, and you don’t get the goal of the meeting accomplished. 

With a Time Timer visual timer and these 4 tips, your meetings will run smoother and be more productive – Both in the office and virtually.  


1. Set a strict overall time limit for the meeting.

Make sure there is a clear expectation of how long the meeting will last and everyone knows it. To stay accountable, our Time Timer PLUS 120 Minute Make Time Edition gives your group a visual cue that time is slipping away. It’s also small and portable, so one team member can hold it up or set it on a nearby desk. It also is a great size to place in view of the camera during virtual meetings so the whole team can see. Plus, a slew of tech folks endorse Time Timer for better meetings, including Jake Knapp, who spent a decade at Google and Google Ventures. 


2. Start and end on time; no matter what.

Make it a practice to start the visual timer when the meeting is supposed to start—even if everyone isn’t present. This puts the onus on individual team members to show up on time. 

Take the same approach to ending the meeting: Stop the discussion as soon as time ends. These hard starts and stops help your team build the muscles they need to be efficient, to-the-point and respectful of each other’s time. 


3. Give each speaker a time limit.

Keeping a daily stand-up short requires an effective way to share time among your team members. Depending on the topics being covered, ensure each team member has a set amount of time to each participate in the conversation. This pre-determined limit adds focus and urgency. 

Use the Time Timer PLUS 120 Minute Make Time Edition or Time Timer MOD Sprint Edition as a visual guide for each person, so they don’t lose track of time. If someone goes over, agree on a short, polite way to call time. This might be “thank you, Jeff” or simply saying “time.” If your meeting is virtual, you can simply set the Time Timer in view of the camera so all the participants can see.  


4. Save time for a brief discussion of any follow-ups.

Set aside the last 5-to-10 minutes of the meeting to plan for any needed follow-ups. These are short and sweet communications, and often, offers of help. 

For instance, “Mike, I’d like to talk to you about your challenges with Sharepoint. I had a similar problem last month.” Or, “Janet, I think your work overlaps with mine and there might be a way for us to collaborate.” Then leave it to individual team members to continue those discussions outside the meeting. 


Meetings are a great time for teams to come together, work collaboratively, and share ideas. They are best when they are productive and efficient. Try these 4 tips next meeting to help keep your team on track! Time Timer can also be a great gift for your boss :) 


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