You just had that important meeting, and now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Before you start tackling tasks though, take some time to review and decide what’s most important to help you follow up in the most efficient, most productive manner possible.
While the process might seem like it takes more time, the few short minutes you spend organizing can actually help you be a lot more productive. Before the meeting starts -- as well as during the meeting itself -- can be the times to start thinking about how you’re going to follow through with your tasks.
Here’s how to follow up with those meeting tasks effectively, efficiently and with progress in mind.
Take good notes
You might think you can remember all the items covered in the meeting, but chances are good that you’re going to forget a thing or two. To avoid the embarrassment of forgetting a task, take notes during the meeting. Use your computer or tablet if you so desire -- but have a backup notebook and pen just in case the power fails or you run out of battery. If it’s a really important meeting, you can even use your smartphone to record the session and review it later on.
Create a to-do list right away
In a lot of meetings, the last thing people do is review the action items each person will be responsible for. If that doesn’t happen though, do it on your own. Make a list of the things you’re responsible for doing, and then prioritize them by writing a "1" next to the most important item, a "2" next to the second-most important, and so on.
Send an email restating the action items
It also helps to send out a wrap-up email that summarizes what everyone is responsible for doing. That way, there’s a definite record of what people are doing and the dates by which they need to have the items done.
Add reminders to your calendar
Based on your to-do list, add reminders and deadlines to your calendar. If an item needs to be done by Friday, for example, write a reminder that you need to start it on Thursday. Use a cloud-based calendar that sends out reminders or a paper calendar -- whatever works best for you.
Regroup at the beginning and end of each day
To stay on task and keep things fresh, spend a few minutes at the end of each day reviewing your progress and reflecting on what went well and what didn’t. You might even use your paper or online calendar to write down what worked for you that day and what you struggled with, so you can begin to see patterns in your work flow. Then at the start of the next new work day, choose one big task to tackle before handling any other smaller items.
It might seem tedious, but the process of prioritizing and then continually reviewing your priorities will help you follow up with any meeting tasks with more organization and more overall success.
Image source: Radison Blu