Recurring meetings are how you move forward together. They're how you meet with your teammates regularly to share, learn, make decisions, and hold each other accountable for getting things done. When run poorly, they turn into "groundhog day," and you’re doomed to revisit the same agenda over and over with no progress. When done well, they will fuel your productivity.
In the following sections, I break down how to do your part to make recurring meetings effective, how to know when a recurring meeting is losing value, and how to use Sticky to streamline the process. Let's dig in!
What is a recurring meeting?
A recurring meeting is one that takes place periodically with the same invitees around a business process or common goal. Examples are:
Bi-weekly team meetings
Quarterly OKR planning sessions
Annual performance reviews
These meetings add a dose of rhythm and ritual to our work. But they're often the first to suffer if meeting overload becomes a problem. Before this happens, consider how you contribute value to recurring meetings.
How to add value to recurring meetings
Let’s face it: many aspects of meeting effectiveness are beyond your control. The organizer and other participants all have critical roles to play. But you can do your part to get what you need and add value to the experience for everyone else. Here's how:
1. Be prepared
Preparing for a recurring meeting means:
Knowing who’s attending (and who won’t be there)
Doing what you were supposed to do since the last meeting
Preparing what you intend to share
Identifying what you need from others
2. Be engaged
Engaging in a recurring meeting means:
Showing up on time
Deciding which parts of the agenda demand your full attention
Presenting when tasked to do so
Participating in the discussion and decisions
Capturing key highlights and action items (for yourself and others you’re representing)
3. Be accountable
Being accountable is simple but not always easy. It means:
Organizing content and your notes from the meeting
Sharing the outcome (content, highlights, decisions, action items) with your team
Prioritizing and accomplishing the things you agreed to do in between meetings
Sign up for Sticky (beta) — meetings, notes, and tasks in one workflow!
How to know when a recurring meeting is losing value
Not everyone does their part to add value, which is why recurring meetings often veer off track.
If you spend the start of every meeting flipping through a notebook, searching your note-taking app for the last set of notes, then skimming to refresh your memory, you're wasting valuable meeting time.
Here are five signs that a recurring meeting has lost value.
1. You waste time searching for notes from the last meeting.
Part of being prepared is knowing what was discussed last time and having your past notes at your fingertips. If you spend several minutes at the start of every meeting flipping through a notebook and scraps of paper, searching your cloud drive or note-taking app for the last set of meeting notes and then skimming to refresh your memory, you're wasting valuable meeting time. And if you haven't looked at your notes since the last meeting, there might have been things you needed to do or prepare to share in your current meeting. Doh! We all make this mistake, but if it's happening on the regular, it's time to rethink your system.
2. You repeat discussions from last time – or 10 minutes ago.
Make it a habit to review past meetings' notes so you don't trigger that déjà vu by bringing up things covered in the past. Staying engaged and taking notes during the meeting means you're less likely to miss key details. Those virtual groans are for you if you get called upon and frequently need to have information from earlier in the meeting repeated.
3. Your tasks fall through the cracks.
Accountability means showing up having accomplished what you said you'd do and is evidence that your teammates can trust you. While no one is perfect, your ability to keep your commitments determines how you're viewed in meetings and beyond. If you're not getting things done between meetings and often have to apologize for the tasks that fell through the cracks, you need to take a different approach to manage your workflow.
4. There’s a mismatch between the agenda and meeting length or frequency.
A recurring meeting should only be as long and happen as often as needed to reach your goals. Sometimes this takes a little tweaking to figure out the right cadence. If you notice there never seems to be enough time, or you're always finishing up early (or canceling ahead of time) because there is nothing to talk about, consider ways to adjust the meeting to align with the needs of the agenda.
5. Meeting attention is waning and attendance is dropping.
A productive recurring meeting means invitees are consistently present and focused. If, after some time, attendance falls off or many participants are passive, distracted, or multi-tasking, it could be time to reassess the invitee list and imagine new ways to improve engagement.
Streamline your recurring meeting workflow with Sticky
Now that you know how to add value and spot value drains, let's look at how Sticky makes the whole process easier for you by eliminating the time-wasting activities mentioned above and ensuring the information you need is at your fingertips.
Sticky integrates with your calendar so notes and tasks are in one place and linked to your meetings. Your workflow looks like this:
Open Sticky to start navigating your day.
1. Preview your day
See your upcoming meetings so you always know what to do next.
2. Prepare for a meeting with one click
Click an upcoming meeting and check who's attending, see the open action items, and review past notes for context and any unfinished business. All the information you need is at your fingertips. You can immediately jot down topics you want to discuss.
3. Join without missing a beat
Click the link in Sticky to join your online meeting and open up your note. No bouncing from notifications to your calendar through landing pages to your conferencing app. Go straight to the meeting with Sticky and open to a linked meeting note. Start taking notes and capturing tasks instantly.
4. Organize your work with ease
Sticky puts tasks from all your meetings in one place, so you can focus on completing them instead of finding them. Review, prioritize, and complete the stuff that needs to get done.
Sticky makes navigating recurring meetings easier by helping you prepare, engage, and be accountable. Eliminate time-wasting activities and get the stuff done that matters most. Get Sticky today.