We've all been there–the never-ending cycle of scheduling and rescheduling meetings. It's a necessary part of work life, yet it can be one of the most unwanted tasks on our to-do list.
From coordinating everyone's availability to finding a time that works for everyone, scheduling meetings can sometimes seem unnecessary. But despite the aversion some may have towards meetings, there are times when they are not only beneficial but essential to productivity.
Learn how to schedule meetings effectively and when it’s appropriate–or even beneficial–to have them. We’ll also be sharing five tips for organizing meetings more effectively so that you can improve the scheduling aspect of your professional life.
Should we schedule a meeting?
The question “Should we schedule a meeting?” often arises when trying to be mindful of others’ time. However, there are scenarios where scheduling a meeting is not only justified but can lead to more efficient collaboration and decision-making.
One example would be when you’re working on a project with the team and you’ve hit a roadblock. You've exchanged countless messages trying to resolve the issue, but it seems like it’s not going anywhere. In situations like this, scheduling a meeting can provide the opportunity for real-time discussion and problem-solving. By bringing everyone together in a virtual or face-to-face setting, you can brainstorm ideas, address concerns and come up with a plan of action more effectively than by exchanging messages alone.
Similarly, when you're collaborating with clients on a project, scheduling a meeting can help ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding project goals, timelines and deliverables. It's an opportunity to clarify expectations, gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the project stays on track.
Moreover, there are instances when meetings are more effective than asynchronously communicating on messaging or project management tools. When issues require immediate clarification or additional context, a quick meeting can facilitate a clearer understanding and quicker resolution compared to back-and-forth messaging threads.
How to ask someone for a meeting
When it comes to asking someone for a meeting, it's important to be clear, courteous and considerate of their time. Start by crafting a concise and polite email or message that clearly states the purpose of the meeting and why their participation is valuable.
Be sure to include details such as the proposed date and time, as well as any relevant background information or agenda items. Additionally, offer flexibility by suggesting alternative meeting times in case the proposed slot doesn't work for them.
Remember to express appreciation for their time and consideration and always allow them the option to decline or propose an alternative if they're unavailable. By approaching the request with professionalism and respect, you can increase the likelihood of a positive response and a productive meeting.
5 tips to scheduling meetings more effectively
Now that we've established the importance of scheduling meetings in certain situations, let's discuss how to make those meetings as productive as possible. Here are five tips to help you schedule and conduct meetings more efficiently:
Be clear on your goal: Before scheduling a meeting, clearly define the purpose and objectives. What do you hope to accomplish by bringing everyone together? Having a clear agenda will not only keep the meeting focused but also help participants prepare accordingly.
Keep it short: Respect everyone's time by only inviting necessary stakeholders and keeping the meeting concise. Stick to the agenda and avoid veering off-topic to ensure that the meeting remains productive. You can schedule additional meetings for the other topics when necessary.
Choose the right time and format: Consider everyone's schedules and time zones when scheduling the meeting. If possible, opt for a time when participants are most likely to be available and alert. Additionally, choose the appropriate format – whether it's a face-to-face meeting, a conference call, or a virtual meeting – based on the nature of the discussion and the preferences of the participants.
Send clear meeting invitations: When inviting participants to the meeting, be sure to include all relevant details such as the date, time, location (or link for virtual meetings), and agenda. Use polite and concise language when requesting their availability, and offer flexibility if possible.
Follow up shortly after: After the meeting, send a follow-up email summarizing the key takeaways, action items and any decisions made. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and reinforces accountability for any tasks assigned during the meeting.
Instantly know when to meet with others
Schedule your next appointment with confidence through Doodle. As a leading schedule maker, Doodle simplifies the process of scheduling meetings with its clean interface and add-on features.
Whether you need to schedule a meeting with a client or coordinate a team meeting, Doodle allows you to easily request availability, find the best meeting times, and send out meeting invitations – all in a matter of minutes.