Curious how to have quicker zoom calls? Zoom meetings can easily take up a chunk of your time and before you know it, your day is over. We believe that having more hours in the day IS the one thing every single one of us needs. So let’s do a deal: you give us 10 minutes right now…and we’ll show you how to claim back two hours of your working day. How?
By helping you become a master at holding super-quick Zoom calls (or reducing the number of Zoom calls you have altogether), while being even more productive.
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A bajillion*. That’s the official number of hours you’re spending (wasting?) each year on Zoom calls.
*100% official stat.
Zoom calls that should’ve been an email. Zoom calls that last way longer than the hour you scheduled. Zoom calls that take up your entire afternoon…but don’t have an agenda and don’t actually achieve anything.
And we know you have a tonne of far more productive and profitable things you could spend your time on, if only you could figure out a way to keep these Zoom calls to a minimum.
So, right here, we’re sharing our top tips that’ll help you become a master of the super-quick-but-super-productive Zoom call — and even help you reduce the number of calls in your schedule — so you can get on with your day.
Firstly, let’s talk about how to avoid taking Zoom call meetings altogether because here’s the thing:
The quickest Zoom calls are the calls that never happen at all!
Zoom meetings are incredibly time-consuming. Most meetings are inherently presumed to be an hour long, but by the time you take into account the time you spend getting ready for your meeting (you know, changing out of your PJs, doing your hair…) and getting into the right headspace, and the time it takes you to get back on track afterwards — particularly if the meeting didn’t go well or it drained your energy — that one hour meeting is more likely to take up at least two hours of your time and your headspace.
Productivity-wise, this is bad news…and if you think about your hourly rate, it’s really eating into your bottom line.
And we guarantee that at least 50% of your meetings don’t even have to happen in the first place.
So here’s how to reduce the number of meetings you’re having:
If someone asks you for a catch-up, you need to ask yourself: is this what you want? Do you want to do it this week? Can it be pushed? Can you come back to it? Does it need to be a call or a meeting in the first place?
Or maybe it’s a client, who wants to call and discuss something. Again, ask yourself: is it necessary? Could this be handled in a better, more efficient way? For example, could you spend just 10 minutes crafting and writing up a really concise and efficient email that gets across all the information you need to share? In fact, it’s usually a better idea all-round to have everything in writing.
The meeting that could’ve been an email
The next time someone asks you for a Zoom meeting, try this response:
“Sure. Could you please let me know what you’d like to cover in the meeting, and what you’d like to have clear by the end?”
When they reply, you can turn that into an agenda, so that when you have the meeting it runs more efficiently. But even an even better strategy? Send them back a reply giving them all the information that they actually need — so you don’t need to have the meeting at all.
Remember, your time is super, super precious, and you can — you are allowed — to say “no” to a meeting. It isn’t rude AT ALL, but if you’re worried about coming across that way, a polite way to say “no” is to say, “my schedule is full working on project x, can we circle back to this?” If it’s vital, that person will come back to you…but nine times out of 10, they don’t circle back because it wasn’t important in the first place.
Okay, you’ve reduced the number of Zoom meetings in your schedule, but some are non-negotiable. And the key is to make them quicker…but not rushed.
Here’s how you do it: Meetings don’t have to last an hour as a default
And it’s important to make that known to the person before you even get on the call.
So when someone asks you when you’re free, you could say, “I have 15 minutes on these available dates” and give them some options. And we know it isn’t always possible, but it’s always better to get people to try and book into your schedule, rather than the other way round. This way, it doesn’t impact your schedule as much.
Have preset times for meetings
For example, for us, we typically try to fit our meetings in after lunch, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. We try to avoid meetings in the morning because this is when we are most productive, and we like to work on the business during these times.
Plus, having that set slot in our calendar for meetings makes it really easy to set new meetings up, quickly suggest times, and set up calendar schedulers to moderate the amount of meetings that we actually fit into our diary. You can use a meeting scheduler tool like Calendly to make it easier for people to book into these preset times. The added bonus with scheduling services is that you can also send automatic reminders — because there’s nothing more unproductive than someone not turning up for a meeting that they’ve forgotten about.
If you don’t want to use one of these tools, make sure you’re just using some kind of online calendar, like iCal or Google Cal, and invite people to the meeting so it goes into their calendar, too. This also provides them with meeting reminders and will prevent any time zone mishaps too (we’ve been there!).
Book back-to-back meetings
The downtime in between meetings is typically dead-time. If you have a half hour or so you don’t have time to do much more than get a drink, or waste some time on your phone; you’re certainly unlikely to do anything productive.
So reduce that time by scheduling meetings back-to-back. It doesn’t just get rid of that downtime, it also makes it so much easier to end a call by saying (truthfully!), “Someone else is coming into my Zoom room, so we’ll have to wrap up now”.
If you’ve warned the person at the start of the call that you only have say, 15 minutes, and that you have another meeting scheduled straight afterwards, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Bonus: the best way to wrap up a meeting:
If you need a handy phrase or two to keep in your back pocket for wrapping up a meeting that’s threatening to overrun, these are our favourites.
- Give them a friendly little reminder that the meeting is coming to an end soon by saying something like, “Okay, so in the last 10 minutes is there anything else that you’d like to cover?”
- “I’m conscious of the time, so to sum up…” and then give them a quick summary of what you’ve covered, what your actions points are, and then say, “cheerio!”.
And there you have it: quicker, more productive Zoom calls without having to be rude!