If youíre like a lot of small business owners, meetings are the curse of your life. In truth, you and your employees most likely spend a lot of time in meetings, rambling on about needless or horribly managed principles. But, in current times, when employees are at their breaking points, who can take the time to waste precious time in energy-sapping meetings?

As it plays out, there are several ways to increase meeting efficiency. Try a couple of these steps to boost your output.

Prepare
There is no alternative to it: managing an efficient meeting takes a lot of planning. It includes making sure key people actually arrive, to handling diverse opinions. The time you take in the planning stage will pay off in enormous dividends later on.

Probably the most important is fabricating an outline. You must write down what needs to be done, so everyone understands that itís not going to be a total waste of time. The outline should state the nature of the meeting, a list of people attending and the problems that will be addressed.

At the same time, make sure everyone comes prepared. I know this sounds easy in theory, but unpredictable employees will most likely never open the memo. In this case, build a one-on-one conversation with all employees to discuss coming prepared.

Stay true
Once the meeting starts, keep the topic on point. Do not let your attendees steer you off the road with unrelated subjects. If they start swaying into an off-topic discussion, recommend they speak about it when the meetings over. You have to be ďthat guyĒ at times.

Itís also true when you have to keep the scheduled block of time on track. If a topic needs further discussion, you might have to plan another meeting in the future.

Summarize
Include a time to talk about the appropriate actions that must be taken care of after the meeting. By doing this, you achieve a sure thing on future discussions. It also guarantees everyone leaves the meeting with the same expectations and general understanding of what actually went on.

Allow extra time
There will be a lot of employees that begin a project, then forget about it because they must go to a meeting. When they get back to it, they waste 20 minutes channeling their focus, only to discover they have to go to another meeting. One solution: Plan your meetings so that employees have a day to focus without distractions. If you do this, youíll see a tenfold increase in productivity.