Business Tips

Cut meeting hours by 10% with email analytics

Photograph of a large meeting in a conference room with a speaker standing in front of a large monitor presenting information displayed on the screen

 

Meetings are arguably the biggest time drain in the modern workplace. While necessary for exchanging information and making decisions, they’re often poorly executed – no agenda prepared advance, too many people invited, more time blocked than needed; the list goes on.

 

With meeting analytics, you can understand how much of your time is taken up by unproductive meetings, then take action.

 

Track meeting hours and set goals for improvement

Meeting analytics can you to track how much of your week is spent in meetings, then set goals for improvement. If you see a long-term upward trend in your meeting behaviors, you can take action to cut back and track progress over time.

 

Screen image from Office 365 showing MyAnalytics dashboard with time for various tasks such as meetings, email, focus, and after hours

Megan spent 18.5 hours in meetings last week – almost half of her week. To improve, she could consider setting her goal to 15 hours moving forward.

Identify and fix your bad meeting habits

Unproductive meetings aren’t always someone else’s fault – we’re often blind to our own bad meeting habits, making it more difficult to improve. With meeting analytics, you can identify the habits you exhibit that contribute to ineffective meetings, from multi-tasking to blocking more time than is needed.

 

There are many ways to run meetings more efficiently – show up with an agenda prepared in advance, only invite critical attendees, schedule for 30 minutes only, and so on. Once you’ve committed to better meeting habits, you can use meeting analytics to see meeting hours trend down over time, freeing up your schedule for other, more important work. Case studies show that simple changes in meeting habits can help you save 4-5 hours of meeting time per week – that adds up to a lot of savings over the course of a year.

 

Screen image from Office 365 showing MyAnalytics meeting time statistics broken down by type and displayed in two graphs.
Megan clearly has a multi-tasking problem – she multi-tasked in 11 hours’ worth of meetings last week.

 

Meet less, focus more

Research suggests that long blocks of high-quality “focus time” are critical for solving tough, cognitively-demanding challenges. Meetings can often get in the way of focus time – it’s common for knowledge workers to hop from one meeting to the next throughout the work day, with only 30 minutes in between to get to their real work.

 

A healthier habit is to schedule long blocks of at least two hours of focus time per day. With meeting analytics, you can track how well you adhere to this practice. You can also get automated reminders to block focus time in advance so that your calendar doesn’t fill up with meetings. Once you’ve built better meeting habits, it shouldn’t be hard to block 4-5 more hours per week of focus time, helping you go deeper on your most challenging projects.

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