You wake up in the morning and see your calendar is jam packed full of meetings. You take this schedule one of two ways:
#1 – Stress: You know you are going to be ghosted at least once or twice, you see the tight time windows and worry about being prepared for each meeting and having proper notes taken during. Then there is the follow-up afterwards that will take time out of your day.
#2 – Ease: You have a meeting assistant who schedules all the meetings, follows up with a reminder to confirm with those you are meeting with, prepares all of the notes and will take minutes, follow up and not only create to-do lists out of those meetings but complete many of those tasks as well. You know today looks busy but will be pretty seamless.
In the online meeting era with Zoom fatigue being a buzzword surrounding it, your days can look stressful, or you can enter them with productivity and ease knowing that these meetings are going to go smoothly.
What Causes an Unproductive Meeting?
To run a smooth meeting, we need to address what makes for an unproductive, clunky meeting.
An unproductive meeting includes no:
- An agenda provides guardrails for the meeting, if you haven’t properly prepared one or transferred a meeting template to this meeting it will delay the meeting or lead to an unproductive meeting.
- Meeting notes
- If notes are not properly taken with to-do lists created, important topics covered and completion timelines set, it usually means the meeting was a waste of time.
- Reminder emails before the meeting
- Setting these up for all attendees beforehand is crucial to prevent no-shows and 5-15 minutes wasted in an empty Zoom meeting room or coffee shop, not to mention potential time driving to the meeting.
Not having these three areas covered leads to meetings running over time, going off-topic, and ending with no conclusions or concrete takeaways.
How do I Set Myself Up for a Smooth Meeting?
Having an agenda prepared beforehand with meeting notes and reminder emails sent means you are much more confident going in. You know attendees are most likely going to show up and you have everything in front of you to get started immediately on topic. This is where a meeting assistant will save you hours a week and set you up for productive meetings. Business owners know how many hours are taken up by meetings, feeling like one was a waste of time means many wasted hours which translates to dollars.
Our virtual Executive Assistants are experienced meeting assistants for Business Owners, C-Suite Executives and Entrepreneurs. They work with clients who go from meeting to meeting with very little to no buffers. Instead of leaving one meeting with a few notes rushed and a quick follow-up email before jumping late to the next meeting, they structure their day and meetings to maximize their time. Here are the goals of your virtual EA when it comes to your busy meeting days, your EA wants you to:
- Rarely have to book a meeting.
- Never be double-booked.
- Go from meeting to meeting fully prepared.
- Leave the follow-up to them.
- Review the notes and to-dos in a specific folder or project management software that has been created by them.
Are You the Bottleneck?
If a decision maker is in a meeting it can quickly go off the rails if the decision maker is the bottleneck to the organization. If their team cannot get a hold of them to answer requests or move projects along everyone wants to have their ear during the meeting so they can move tasks/projects along. If you are being asked numerous questions by multiple team members during a meeting, ask yourself “is this part of the agenda for this meeting?” and “are they asking this because I haven’t responded to their email or previous request?” If the answer is yes, it means you are a bottleneck in your organization.
Chances are you will never have a focused meeting again. If you are finding yourself to be the bottleneck your virtual Executive Assistant can manage your email to ensure anything not needing your attention gets removed or answered on your behalf. This leaves only the most pertinent and important communication on your plate and removing the rest.
Your virtual Executive Assistant can also be a gatekeeper to your email and calendar. If your calendar is a free for all, your EA will help you set rules for who gets your time and for how long. They will set time blocks so you can focus on actual work, not just replying to emails and having meetings.
If you are sick of meetings, feel like you are in too many or meetings are unproductive your virtual Executive Assistant has vast amounts of experience being a meeting assistant, gatekeeper, calendar manager and email manager to help you gain your time back. If it’s time to get your life and business back under control schedule a call with our team to learn how a virtual Executive Assistant will get you more productive, in less meetings and back to doing what you love.
Manager of Sales & Marketing