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Speedy Meetings: Google Calendar’s Time-Saving Hack 

Learn the best practices for speedy meetings and how to enable speedy meetings with Google Calendar to save time and boost productivity.

By Hannah Ross  •   August 18, 2022  •   8 min read

Everyone who works remotely can agree on one thing: we all have too many meetings that take up way too much time in our calendars. While shortening or eliminating meetings isn’t always feasible, Google Calendar’s speedy meetings feature makes putting time back into your schedule easier than ever. Not only will your meetings take less time, but this feature will also help you host more efficient meetings and therefore boost productivity. 

What are speedy meetings? 

Speedy meetings are meetings that have been optimized to save time. The speedy meetings function can be enabled within Google Meets and allows you to take back control of your schedule. Not only does this tool make it possible for you to optimize your time, but it also means you get to allocate more energy towards checking items off your to-do list. When you select the speedy meetings option, your meetings or events that are longer than 30 minutes will automatically be shortened. For example, enabling this setting means your 30-minute meetings will be shortened to 25 minutes, 45-minute meetings will be 40 minutes long, and 60-minute meetings will be 50 minutes long.

Run productive speedy meetings

Increase meeting engagement and productivity with a collaborative agenda that the whole team can contribute to. Try using a tool like Fellow!

Best practices for speedy meetings

1Only schedule meetings for as long as they need to be

While the speedy meetings function makes it possible to shave time off of meetings, it’s still important that you only schedule meetings for as long as they need to be, as opposed to as long as you think they should be. While small talk can be a great morale booster, your daily standup may not be the time for it. Creating a meeting agenda and allocating time blocks to each point will ensure your meeting runs smoothly and doesn’t go over time. Having a clearly defined agenda with talking points will help structure the conversation while ensuring everyone knows what to expect and when to participate. 

2Use a meeting management tool 

Using a meeting management tool is a great way to help your meetings run smoothly and stay on schedule. A proper meeting management tool will ensure everyone knows what to expect, what to talk about, when to participate, and what to take away from the meeting. 

Meeting management tools like Fellow make it possible for teams to have productive meetings by enabling team members to build collaborative agendas, record decisions, and hold each other accountable. 

Additionally, meeting with Fellow: 

  • Fosters accountability 
  • Means more effective meetings 
  • Encourages continuous improvement 
  • Streamlines important conversations across the entire company 

3Be mindful of time zones and flexible work hours 

Remote work is great because it allows us to work anywhere, anytime, with anyone in the world. However, when you have team members working remotely, it can be difficult to find meeting time slots that work for everyone. If you aren’t mindful of your teammates’ working hours or unique time zones, you may end up scheduling a meeting that they ultimately can’t attend. Using the speedy meetings tool puts time back in your schedules, so the chances of finding time for a meeting in everyone’s busy schedules only gets easier. 

4Send pre-meeting reminders

Whether you’re using the speedy meetings tool or not, sending pre-meeting reminders is a must. Sending pre-meeting reminders ensures everyone is on the same page and aware of the upcoming meeting. Fellow’s meeting automations and pre-meeting reminders feature makes updating your teammates easier than ever. You can leverage Fellow to set up automatic reminders that will notify meeting attendees of your upcoming meeting while encouraging them to add their thoughts and ideas to the meeting agenda. These automatic reminders can be set up to be sent via email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. 

5Use a meeting agenda 

Meeting agendas are a crucial part of every meeting—especially those that you wish to run effectively. Circulating your meeting agenda before the initial meeting kicks off is a great way to ensure everyone shows up knowing exactly what to expect, and referencing the meeting agenda during the meeting helps every conversation run smoothly without going over time.

Meeting agendas also make it possible for you to move from one action item to the next with ease. They enable productivity and efficiency, and they streamline your meeting, eliminating the risk of the meeting running over time. 

Using a meeting agenda tool to keep track of discussions: 

  • Gives the meeting a clear purpose
  • Empowers everyone to contribute
  • Clarifies expectations and responsibilities
  • Creates a single source of truth for decisions
  • Allows you to stay on track and avoid distractions 

6Ask for meeting feedback

Asking for meeting feedback is the easiest way to make improvements. If you don’t take the time to seek feedback, you’ll never know how your teammates feel about the lengths of your meetings. If you find that your teammates are complaining about the lengths of your meetings, it may be time to implement the speedy meetings tool. If your teammates feel as though your meetings aren’t long enough, consider finding a middle ground and lengthening meetings when appropriate. 

Benefits of speedy meetings 

1Control your calendar [and the meetings you host]

Using the speedy meetings tool makes it possible for you to take control of your schedule. Oftentimes when working asynchronously, we don’t have very much control over our own schedules. Because we need to meet with our teammates or with other departments, we’re constantly being bombarded with meeting invitations and thus, our days fill up quicker than we may like to admit. As a result, we rarely have the free time we need to prepare for additional meetings or get work done. 

Fellow’s Meeting Guidelines feature set also helps you take control of your calendar and eliminate back to back meetings by making them speedy. With the help of this feature, meeting organizers are automatically prompted to shorten the meetings they’re creating by 5 – 10 minutes, so attendees can get a break in between meetings. Less meeting fatigue, and more time for deep work!

2Allow more time between meetings 

There’s nothing worse than a busy day with back-to-back meetings. If your schedule is jam-packed with meetings, you won’t have time to decompress and process what you’ve spoken about in each one. You may not even have time to step away from work to eat, recharge, or hydrate! Meeting breaks are important for a variety of reasons; not only do they provide you with the time you need to recharge, but they also make it possible for you to prepare for upcoming meetings. 

This is where the speedy meetings tool comes in. Enabling this feature means you’re sure to have a break between each meeting. This small block of time may not seem like much, but you will most definitely be grateful for it when it ends up being the only break you have. 

3Decrease the number of lengthy meetings 

Zoom fatigue is real, and one of its major causes is back-to-back meetings that seem to never end. Long, drawn-out meetings can be detrimental to your team members’ mental health. By having many lengthy meetings, you not only run the risk of losing everyone’s attention, but you and your team members may also experience Zoom fatigue or even burnout. Leveraging the speedy meetings tool will help you decrease the number of lengthy meetings in everyone’s calendars while simultaneously working towards increasing overall meeting engagement. 

How to enable speedy meetings with Google Calendar 

Enabling the speedy meetings function is simple. In your calendar, navigate to settings > event settings, then select the checkbox next to “speedy meetings.” Your meetings will then automatically be shortened by 5 or 10 minutes, depending on their length. 

Know how much your meetings cost you 

Understanding how much your meetings cost you is a great way to determine whether or not every meeting you’re hosting or participating in is worthwhile. Allocating an amount or percentage to your meetings is a great way to gain a different perspective that may be necessary to rework your schedule. 

Fellow’s meeting cost calculator makes it possible for you to calculate how much your meetings cost so you can begin to understand the value of hosting shorter more efficient meetings. For example, if you decrease your meetings by 5 minutes, think of all the time you will get back in your day to focus on other work or taking a much needed break. With the speedy meetings feature, next time you try to schedule a 30-minute meeting, it will be automatically scheduled for 25 minutes instead, saving you and your team an extra 5 minutes per meeting. 

Think of it this way: If you have four 30-minute meetings per week, you’re spending a total of 2 hours in meetings. If you change those four 30-minute meetings to be 25 minutes, you’ve decreased your time spent in meetings from 2 hours to now 1 hour and 40 minutes, saving you a total of 20 minutes per week. Now that’s only one week! If you further calculate for a month, you’re saving 1 hour and 20 minutes per month or almost 70 hours per year! It pays off to shorten your meetings, even if just by 5 minutes! 

Save time and boost productivity with speedy meetings

If you’ve been looking for a way to host more efficient meetings while taking back more of your time, the speedy meetings feature is for you! Not only will you be left with more time at the end of the day, but you’ll also be re-engaging your teammates while creating a new meeting culture. 

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