I've been helping over 100 early-stage startups in the past year and one very simple way to make more impact with less effort, is making meetings more efficient.

If you’re a startup founder, chances are you know all too well how difficult it can be to keep meetings effective. With so much on the line, it’s important to stay focused and get the most out of each session.

Here are my general advice to help make your meetings more efficient and productive.

Set an agenda ahead of time

It may seem obvious, but having an agenda for each meeting is essential for keeping everyone on track. Without one, it’s easy for conversations to wander off into unproductive areas or topics that weren’t even on the table in the first place.

Take some time before each meeting to create an agenda that covers all relevant topics and keeps everyone focused throughout the session.

Make sure you include in the agenda what kind of outcome or decisions you want to make during the meeting.

Stick to time limits

If you have ever been in a meeting that feels like it’s dragging on forever, then you know how hard it can be to stay focused and engaged when there’s no end in sight.

Make sure each meeting has a set time limit so people know when they can expect it to end. This will ensure that everyone stays on task and keeps conversations moving along at a brisk pace.

Also, don't hesitate modify the time limits if you notice 60 min meeting was already over in 45 min. Or the decision-making took only 5 minutes.

Keep meetings small

It can be tempting to invite everyone from your team or organization, but try to resist this urge as much as possible.

Keeping meetings small helps ensure that only those who need to be present are in attendance and prevents any unnecessary distractions or wasted time.

Involve everyone discussions

No one likes being talked over or ignored in a conversation, especially during a meeting. Try your best not involve everyone by giving every person equal opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions with the group.

This ensures that everyone feels heard and respected while also helping avoid any potential misunderstandings or miscommunications down the line.

Encourage open discussion

Discussions should always remain professional but encourage participants to speak freely about their ideas without fear of punishment or criticism from others in attendance.

This creates an environment of open dialogue where people feel comfortable expressing themselves without worrying about repercussions later on down the road. The more open discussion is encouraged, the more efficient your meetings will become over time!


Remember—set an agenda ahead of time, stick to time limits, keep meetings small, involve everyone in discussions, and encourage open dialogue whenever possible.

By following these simple steps, you'll find that your meetings quickly become more productive and effective than ever before. Maybe even time to consider that 4-day work-week everyone's talking about?

How to make meetings efficient

TLDR; set an agenda ahead of time, stick to time limits, keep meetings small, involve everyone in discussions, and encourage open dialogue whenever possible.