Recurring meetings, as the name suggests, are meetings that appear regularly on your calendar at a pre-defined cadence. These meetings can be of any nature like 1:1s, business review meetings, all-hands meetings, project review meetings, team meetings, or sprint planning meetings.

While some recurring meetings like 1:1s, business reviews, team meetings are essential to drive projects forward and keep teams connected, not every recurring meeting is needed. Hence, teams need to be careful when setting up recurring meetings and ensure that all attendees are deriving value out of these time blocks consistently.

In this article, we share four tips for meeting owners/teams to manage recurring meetings productively:

1. When setting up recurring meetings, have an end date after 4 to 6 recurrences

2. Like any other meeting, always have an agenda for every occurrence

3. Review attendee list to ensure that the agenda is relevant to all attendees

4. Eliminate unnecessary occurrence by using asynchronous communication for status updates and follow-ups

Let’s dive deeper into each one of these.

1. When setting up recurring meetings, have an end date after 4 to 6 recurrences

Having an end date for the recurring meetings allows you to review the meeting after a few occurrences. This forces you and other attendees to reevaluate the need for the meeting, frequency, meeting objective and required audience. This helps reset and prevent the meeting from being another, productivity-killing time block on everyone’s calendar.    

2. Like any other meeting, always have an agenda for every occurrence

While you might have a high-level idea of what these meetings are required to drive, e.g., business review, project updates, etc. it is important to sketch out agenda for every occurrence to ensure that meeting attendees have a productive and focused discussion. The simplest way to level up your meeting and make it more productive for everyone involved is to have an effective agenda. Remember to share the agenda ahead of the meeting to allow attendees to pre-review the agenda and prepare for a fruitful discussion.

Like other meetings, remember to capture meeting minutes or assign a note-taker who can capture meeting notes effectively.

3. Review attendee list to ensure that the agenda is relevant to all attendees

This is a common occurrence in project update meetings where people from different functional groups collaborate to discuss the project details. There might be certain occurrences where the discussion is focused on one functional area and does not require participation from all attendees. When this happens, as a best practice, update the meeting invite to let the attendees know that their participation is optional for that occurrence.  

Moreover, there might be a certain occurrence where attendance from executive group or leadership is required to weigh in on a discussion or decision. Again, update the meeting invite by including the required person and clearly outlining the objective for the request.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of such recurring and irrelevant meeting invites, don’t shy away from politely declining.  

4. Eliminate unnecessary occurrence replacing status update meetings with asynchronous communication

Setting up a meeting to get a status update, assign action items, or follow-up on previously assigned action items is not the best use of the group’s time. Such objectives can be easily achieved through asynchronous communication by using collaborative tools like Loopin. Through Loopin, you can easily assign action items to individuals, track status update right through your calendar without needing to setup a meeting. Loopin also notifies the tasks owners of their due action items and helps drive projects to completion by ensuring that action items are never just “forgotten”.