Attention Please: Minimizing Distractions in Company Meetings

In an office, meetings are a common occurrence. You might think it best to talk with each other in person to address a certain issue, or discuss plans, or present new ideas. However, distractions are also plenty; so much so that it’s a wonder that they can be productive in any manner sometimes. They’re not without solutions, though, so you can certainly do something about them. Here are some suggestions that you can try the next time you hold a meeting.

Control the Environment

Since you’re the one holding the meeting, then you should be in control of the place. Whether you’re in the office building, or in a meeting space in Seattle, WA, the environment should be conducive to your activity. If you must, make it a no-device affair, or at least make sure that people turn them off, set them to silent, or just use them for presentations. You should also always be aware of whether or not the topic that you’re discussing is still on the agenda. Make a list of points if you have to.

Set a Strict Schedule

Aside from devices, another possible distraction would be latecomers. Not only do they attract people’s attention, but they also require you to waste time recalling what you’ve just discussed. To avoid this kind of distraction, be strict with your schedule and close the door on those who won’t be prompt. Possibly the only people you should wait for are those who are instrumental to what’s going to be discussed, but even that should have a limit.

Don’t Be Afraid to Kick People Out

business meeting

When the meeting comes, expect that there will be people who are not as focused on it as the rest of you. There may be individuals who are too engrossed with their phones, or are more into talking about something else with their workmates, or simply don’t care about the subject of the meeting. If this happens, it might seem mean, but it would be better if you politely tell them to leave. They’re already distracted and a distraction, so there’s nothing much to lose.

Make a Backup Plan

If any of you are going to include presentations in your meeting, then it’s best to avoid assuming that everything will go the way you planned it. You need to be prepared for anything that can go wrong. For example, presenters can bring along another laptop in case one doesn’t work properly. They can also save the presentation in several storage options such as flash drives or the cloud, if there’s internet. It would also be best to know the subject matter inside out and have physical notes ready for everyone to discuss.

Meetings can take up time that can be used for work, but are sometimes necessary to make sure that everyone’s on the same page. You don’t need distractions to add to the consumed minutes. Increase your productivity by reducing them to a minimum and making it easier to get to the point of the whole activity. You’ll make the meeting shorter while doing more at the same time.

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