Ending on time

Well planned and organized meetings normally end on time. However, if most of your meetings tend to run-over, it's important to understand why. Some reasons might include:

  • Meeting time has not been managed well throughout the meeting.
  • Priority items were not dealt with first.
  • The group went off-topic too many times.
  • Meeting planners underestimated deliberation time required.
  • Too many items were planned for the time available.
  • The group has a history of going beyond its stated adjournment time.

How to end on time

Here are a few strategies that can help you end your meetings on time.

  • Start the meeting on time. It's a lot easier to end on time if the meeting begins on time.
  • Appoint a timekeeper to help you. The timekeeper gives continuous feedback to the group regarding the use of allotted time for each agenda item.
  • If you are chair and wish to extend a meeting another 15 minutes to half an hour, ask the committee or group if they are willing to remain to finish the task at hand.
  • In planning a meeting make sure it has a stated end time. If attending a meeting that does not state an adjournment time, bring it to the leader's attention at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Keep track of your own meetings - Do most end on time? Be clear that it is your aim to end at the appointed time.