Data Doesn't Lie: Shorter Meetings Can Make You 3X More Productive

More than 78 percent of people feel AI will improve their productivity by more than an hour a week.

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By John Rampton

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Love them or hate them, meetings are part of life as an entrepreneur. The average professional spends 31 hours per month in meetings — that's more than 15 full days a year! Meetings take up a lot of time, and it's not just the time you actually spend in the meeting; the prep, scheduling, note taking and follow-up that also occur can be an even bigger drag on your already-tight schedule and resources.

A recent study by Zoom of 1,000 professionals shows that incorporating some fast-improving technologies, including AI, can save you mountains of time. More than 78 percent of people who have a lot of meetings (more than 10 hours per week) thought AI would save them at least an hour a week, with most estimating between one and five hours per week. That's up to 4.5 weeks per year that could be freed up for your real work.

Here's how to get that time back in your busy schedule.

Related: How to Master Meetings (Infographic)

Record meetings

There are a lot of solutions out there that will record and transcribe your full meeting. That means you don't need to take notes, and you definitely don't need to designate a note taker. Instead, have your usual note taker work on a different, higher-value activity.

You can also use those transcripts to quickly review a meeting you might have missed and use keyword searches to zero in on the parts of the meeting you care most about rather than watch a recording of the entire meeting. I now skip some meetings I used to attend and instead just ask for the transcripts.

Related: Too Many Meetings Suffocate Productivity and Morale

Automate your meeting scheduling

Not everyone can afford to have someone scheduling meetings. If you're dealing with large groups and multiple time zones, this seemingly small activity could take a ton of time. Using self-scheduling apps like my company, Calendar, or AI assistants like Clara Labs can save you from wasting precious time looking at calendars to set up a meeting.

Related: Science Has Some Suggestions for Making Meetings Productive

Push your team to improve through AI

Anyone who has sat through a long-winded meeting has witnessed the colleague who can't seem to express a point in less than 10 minutes. Tech platforms like Reason8 dig through transcripts to use natural language processing to figure out how teams could distill their talking points or to determine who spends the most time talking in any given meeting. Using AI as a coaching tool can help teams improve not only their efficiency, but also their own communication skills. These platforms can also isolate action items more quickly and tie them together, helping teams recognize opportunities to do the same.

Related: 4 Steps to Avoid 'Death by Meeting'

Go mobile

Sometimes, a meeting at the right time can prevent longer meetings later. I've taken meetings from everywhere, from the top of a mountain to an airplane. Entrepreneurs are always on the go. Don't wait to make a critical decision when you're back in the office.

Take meetings on the road, on-site, or anytime you can squeeze them in so you can keep moving faster than the competition. Between improved global bandwidth and video meeting technologies optimized to work on mobile, you don't have to wait for the office to get clear audio and video.

However big AI's impact is on our meetings, entrepreneurs would be wise to embrace some of these technologies. I'm hopeful that a future with more AI technologies means entrepreneurs get to spend more time on the most impactful activities for their business.

John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

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