Think about the last meeting you’ve been to that drove you crazy. What happened? Did it go too long or end up on a topic that had nothing to do with the original intent of the meeting? Did unnecessary people get invited—causing unrelated items to get discussed? And the worst—have you had a meeting that only leads to another meeting?

And meetings aren’t going anywhere. If you work, you have meetings. In fact, there are some 11 million business meetings—each and every day—occupying over one-third of employee time. That’s a lot of hours and a lot of people, who may be stuck being unproductive (or even worse, dozing off), to the tune of $37 billion dollars in wasted salary hours.

There’s a better way, however, to wrest control of the time that you have to spend in meetings. For starters, you must acknowledge that for many, meetings do present a problem. About half of all attendees say that too many meetings is too much wasted time.

Before you even ask anyone to join in a meeting, think about what type of a meeting you’re having. Do you hope to decide something? Do you just want to share information? Or do you need to share ideas? That initial decision will determine who you should invite—and you should stay away from inviting people that do not need to be there.

There must also be some sort of limits to people during meetings—be they limits on the technology that’s allowed in the meeting, the topics that cannot be discussed, even who can talk at different times. And when a meeting starts, be firm on that time—and be firm on providing follow up for attendees.

Want more tips for better meetings? Use this graphic for help.

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Infographic via

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