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A talkative co-worker is rambling on again during a meeting that’s already run long. Eventually, with no decisions made, the meeting leader calls it quits, and everyone goes back to work.

“What a waste of time” is all you can think.
Make sure your meetings aren't just a waste of time — Master these meeting minutes...
The time-waster meeting is a common fixture in offices across America.

The reason, says Reid Hastie, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, is that we’re not thinking about and valuing our time the right way.

Hastie tells The New York Times we often equate time with money. But we can always get more money, save it or move it around. Not so with time. You can’t earn an extra hour of it.

We often feel we’ll have more time later, so we waste it now and carelessly steal time from our friends and family later, when we come up short and need an extra hour at work.

Also,we’re blind to lost time opportunities. We don’t think about the other ways we could have invested our time, as we do with money.

So, time and money? Not at all the same.
Ensure your meetings are time well spent. Keep an actionable record of your meeting minutes and what comes next. Here's how...
To show more appreciation for the value of time, Hastie says he now takes a more active role and tries to make meetings more effective. Here are the principles he uses:
  1. Whoever calls a meeting should explain its objectives by answering this question: "What do we want accomplished when we leave this room?” This means specifying tangible goals and assigning responsibility for creating, summarizing and reporting on them.
  2. Think about the opportunity costs of the meeting. How many people really need to be there, and how long does the meeting need to last? If you doubt the need for a meeting, speak up. Set and stick to a finish time.
  3. Tap effective people to lead meetings, and steer clear of those who have a track record of wasting others’ time.

Tip: If the time-wasting culprit is your boss, say something like, “If you have a PowerPoint presentation or reports for this meeting, let me help you by disseminating the information beforehand. It might save you time during the meeting if people arrive prepared.”

Effective Minute-Taking: Tips to Improve Your Meeting-Recording Skills is your essential guide to streamlined meetings and more productive outcomes.

Effective Minute-Taking goes through the process step-by-step, from the eight things you must do before a meeting starts … to the proper format for submitting minutes once the meeting is over … and everything in between.

Part I: Pre-Meeting Preparation
8 keys steps to take in advance
Part II: During the Meeting
Prepare your mind to filter information
Key information to capture
Beyond taking notes: your conduct
Part III: After the Meeting
Turning to production
Putting on the finishing touches
Correcting, filing and indexing
Part IV: Minute-Taking Q & A's
Appendix: Sample Meeting Minutes

Don't waste any more time! Get your copy now...

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