How to Stop Wasting Time in Pointless Meetings: 5 Things to Improve Your Meetings

How to Stop Wasting Time in Pointless Meetings: 5 Things to Improve Your Meetings

Have you ever left a meeting feeling like you just wasted an hour (or more) of your day? You’re not alone. Many people have experienced the frustration of attending meetings that are disorganized, unproductive, and seemingly pointless.

That’s where the Level 10 meeting agenda comes in.

The Level 10 is part of the larger Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS). EOS is a comprehensive set of practical tools and concepts that have helped thousands of small to medium size organizations worldwide achieve their business goals – including Simple Thread! One of the most popular components of EOS is the Level 10 meeting, a weekly meeting that is designed to be highly efficient, productive, and engaging.

So, how do you make a meeting efficient, productive, and engaging? Here are 5 things that work for us:

1. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

First and foremost, the meeting should take place on the same day and time each week. The meeting follows a strict agenda, which includes several key items that are critical to its success. I will share more about these next.

2. Be Present

An opening segue provides the opportunity to shift the team’s attention from the distractions of the latest Slack chat or email that needs a reply and bring the focus to the present. At the start of the meeting, I might ask everyone to share their “best personal and best professional highlight” of the previous week. This can help set a positive tone and encourage everyone to engage in the meeting. Another great meeting opener is the “rose, thorn, and bud” method, which is a design thinking tool that helps identify what’s working (rose), what’s not (thorn), and what can be improved (bud).


“If You Can’t Measure it, You Can’t Improve it” – Peter Drucker

3. You Gotta Track Something

The meeting then moves on to review the key performance indicators (KPIs) or scorecard for the department. This provides a weekly check-in on the numbers that are leading indicators of success and drive conversation around areas of opportunity or concern. What you track may vary by department, for marketing, we look at website traffic, conversions, and inbound leads to name a few!

4. Have S.M.A.R.T, Realistic Quarterly Goals

Next, the team discusses their quarterly goals and reports on whether they are on track or off track towards this goal. This helps ensure that everyone is aligned on the department’s priorities and progress towards achieving them. If someone is “off track”, it gets added to the agenda for discussion and for the group to find ways to support and help get the project moving in the right direction.


“If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going, You’ll End Up Someplace Else” – Yogi Berra

5. Identify. Discuss. Solve.

The meeting then moves on to the most crucial part of the Level 10 meeting: tackling issues as a team. This is when I will guide the team through the IDS process: Identify, Discuss, and Solve. The team identifies the real issue, discusses it from all angles, and then settles on a solution and one or two action points to implement the solution.

And Now, to Wrap Things Up Like a Present…

As the meeting comes to a close, the team takes five minutes to wrap up. This includes recapping the to-do list, sharing information from the meeting with the rest of the organization, and giving the meeting a grade on a scale of 1 to 10. EOS emphasizes that the most important criterion for grading the meeting is how well the team followed the agenda.

So there you have it! A recipe for a meeting that is productive, efficient, and engaging! The Level 10 meeting is a powerful tool for organizations looking to run efficient and productive meetings. By following a strict agenda and incorporating key components like KPIs, quarterly goals, and the IDS process, teams can stay aligned and make progress towards achieving their business objectives. Try it out and let us know what you think  – and say goodbye to wasted time and hello to more productive, engaging meetings!

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