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What is a Recurring Meeting and How to Make Them More Productive

What is a Recurring Meeting and How to Make Them More Productive

Recurring meetings 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. Here are 4 pro tips to optimize recurring meetings and improve meeting productivity.

Whether you're a manager, and executive, or have just started in a new job, meetings are an inevitable part of the corporate culture. They help drive the team towards a common goal and connect all team members through their various skills, knowledge, and technical acumen. Meetings can be in-person as well as online, and in today's world where hybrid work culture prevails, most teams have switched to online meetings.

This post talks about the four essential tips to have more productive and engage recurring meetings. But before we start, let's take a look at what exactly is meant by a recurring meeting.

What is a recurring meeting?

Recurring meetings 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.

When executed efficiently, recurring meetings can help teams stay connected and on track with projects. They also foster teambuilding among coworkers, bringing in a sense of accountability. Some recurring meetings like 1:1s, business reviews, team meetings are essential to drive projects forward and keep teams connected. But 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.

Benefits of Scheduling Recurring Meetings

Recurring meetings have multiple benefits, namely-

1. Schedule once

You have to send the calendar invite only once, and every invited team member will be reminded of the meeting at the time when it's about to begin. This saves the hassle of sending multiple invites on several days of the month. It also streamlines the process and marks your calendar so you can plan your other work around these meetings.

2. Keep track of progress

When your team is working on a dedicated project, having recurring meetings can help the team members connect every once in a while and share their progress. You can also use this opportunity to discuss any blockers you might have, and work on them to seamlessly push every task forward towards the end goal.

3. Foster accountability

When a recurring meeting is coming up, team members feel a sense of accountability that they need to complete the tasks assigned to them before it, so they can share progress and other updates. This can be especially helpful if you work in a remote team.

Now that we have established the importance of recurring meetings, let's take a look at who can benefit the most from them.

Who can use recurring meetings?

While any person or team who's working on something specific in collaboration with others can benefit from a recurring meeting, here are specific use cases that make recurring meetings essential.

1. Project teams

Teams working towards a common project with specific tasks delegated to each member benefit a lot from recurring meetings. Such meetings keep the project on track and make each member feel connected to each other and in tune with the overall mission and vision of the company.

2. Freelancers and contractors

When freelancers and contractors work on a project with their client, recurring meetings can be the ideal place and time to discuss weekly action items and prepare a workflow for the days ahead. Clients can share feedback and the freelancers can work on this to tweak and further streamline their workflow.

3. Students and research assistants

Students can set up meetings with their supervisors to discuss weekly or fortnightly updates. Aside from that, research teams working under the same academician can set up recurring meetings so every person is up-to-date with the latest happenings within the team. This pushes the research forward in the right direction, and keeps the professor updated of all that remains to be done to push every student towards their final goal.

How to schedule recurring meeting?

Recurring meetings are scheduled the same way on your Google Calendar as you schedule a normal meeting. Here's a detailed step-by-step guide to help you set up one with your team using the Google Calendar.

Step one: Add guests and write the meeting name.

Step two: Click on "Does not repeat" and select the meeting frequency from the drop down menu.

Step three: Save and send the invite.

Tips to Have More Productive Recurring Meetings

Let’s dive deeper into the four tips to have an efficient and productive recurring meeting.

1. Have an end date for the meeting

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. 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

Do this 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

Replace 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”.

Conclusion

When you're working with a team or a client recurring meetings help you stay on track with your progress and keep your team members updated with what's going on. This post discussed the various benefits of having recurring meetings and shed some light on who can benefit the most from such meetings. Here are the four expert tips to have efective and productive recurring meetings:

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

What are some tips and hacks that have helped you have more efficient recurring meetings with your clients or team? Tag us on Twitter @LoopinHQ and let us know your thoughts.