We've all had unproductive days. Sometimes it's because we're preoccupied with a big project, sometimes it's from trying to multitask which (shocker) doesn't actually make you more productive. And then there's the most common culprit of productivity loss: meetings. 
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Meetings on meetings are a sure-fire way to kill the productivity across your team. Why? 
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Although it may seem necessary to check in and inform everyone about ongoing projects, let's be honest; meetings are quite often unnecessary, and frankly, waste everyone's time.
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According to our 2015 Work Management Survey, 34% of people attend 6 or more meetings a week with 44% of those people saying that attending too many meetings or conference calls was their top roadblock to productivity.
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We're not asking you to decline all your scheduled meetings. We're hoping to help you recognize when it's actually necessary to meet to in person and when it's not. 
 
 

Ask Yourself: Do You Really Need to Meet?

This may seem like common sense, but think about how many monthly or weekly meetings you attend that actually have little direction, and often not even an agenda
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Sometimes, when we schedule a recurring one-on-one or status meeting, we do this to "stay on top" of things, but fail to recognize how inefficient it is for everyone. 
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One way to decide if a recurring meeting is needed is to have an outline of questions to ask yourself, such as: 
 
  • "Is it really necessary to meet this week?" 
  • "Are there any updates I don't already know about?" 
  • "Are there any action items that need to be announced to the team?" 
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Another way to decide if you need a meeting is to use this decision tree: 
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Should We Have This Meeting? (#Infographic Decision Tree)

Streamline Necessary Meetings with the Right Tool

What about those meetings you actually do need? That's where using a collaboration tool such as Wrike comes in. You can use a tool to brainstorm, track projects, and measure performance. You can even replace the need to meet by providing every team member with visibility into the project status
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Eugene Dong from Procurify says: "Since we've implemented Wrike, individually, we've all saved at least 6 hours a week by cutting out all those extra coordination meetings we were holding."
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Think it can't be done? Think again. Let's go over ways you can cut down on meetings by replacing them with Wrike.
 

1. Brainstorming Meetings

In some cases, it is important to brainstorm in person. Having that face time allows your team to bounce ideas off of each other and ask questions about goals and objectives.
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However, brainstorming in person can lead to creative roadblocks such as groupthink and fear of judgement. If you're not following the rules of brainstorming, then it might be easier and more effective to brainstorm individually. 
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In Wrike, you can start a project and share the goals with your team immediately. From there, assign them to individual tasks and ask them to come up with as many ideas as they can on their own; without collaborating with each other. This allows people to think independently, without having others influence or intimidate them from sharing their ideas. 
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One of our most well-known customers, Redfoo, uses Wrike to brainstorm music and clothing ideas for his multiple companies. He created an ideas folder in Wrike where he can jot down new concepts and share them with his team. This way, all ideas are archived in one central location and can be referenced easily.
 

2. Status Meetings

I get it, you want to be updated on ongoing projects and tasks—and there are just too many to include in an email or over a chat channel. But, think of how much easier it would be to see all your ongoing projects AND their status in a simple click. 
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That's what Wrike allows you to do. Simply set up a Dashboard to view all your important projects and see where they stand. Using Custom Workflows, your team is able to create a status category so that it's easy to quickly see the status of each project. 
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You can also build out your Dashboard to view projects by status. This is great for teams that work on a lot of similar projects that are attached to client approvals and deadlines. This way you can see all ongoing projects that are "in progress," "out for approval," "approved," and "completed" in a single place. 
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The R&D team at Nanometrics was able to cut down time spent in meetings by 30 hours a week, freeing up more time to focus on pushing work through to completion. Since everyone can see task updates in Wrike, the meetings they do have are more focused on decision making and problem solving rather than just communicating project status updates.
 

3. Lessons Learned Meetings

Probably the least popular of the three, but still immensely crucial to learning and improving your processes
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Instead of having an open discussion, have everyone record their roadblocks and hiccups in a task, then share that task with the team. Have them share what they've learned and where processes can be improved for next time. 
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Sharing lessons learned in a meeting is helpful, but not necessarily actionable. It's difficult to remember what to change in the future when everyone is recording them in different ways. Writing it down in Wrike allows you to create a universal way to archive lessons learned and make the takeaways actionable by having them easily accessible in the future. 
 
 

Replace Your Next Meeting with Wrike!

Take Wrike for a test drive and cancel your next recurring meeting. Share your success story on how you replaced your meetings with Wrike in the comments!  
 
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