Prepare for Meetings like a College Student

Follow a 2 to 1 ratio to prepare for successful Meetings

When in college, time management is crucial. For many students, college is a culture shock. It is the first time they are on their own. One has to learn how to manage their own time amongst the complexity of their classes.

To guide students through this, a common rule of thumb is to plan to study for a class 2 or 3 times the number of credit hours it’s worth each week. So a student taking a 3 credit hour class should study 6 to 9 hours a week on that class in addition to the class time.

This handy rubrick has stuck with me over the years. I apply this to any classes I take as an adult. As a meeting facilitator, I’ve taken the novel approach of applying this to meeting preparation. I’ve found a 2 to 1 ratio to be a useful guide to manage my time in preparing and summarizing meetings.

Applying the rule is simple. Take any meeting and consider how long the meeting itself is. Then I double the time and that is how long I should spend up front to prep for the meeting. So if I have an hour long meeting, I spend 2 hours preparing for it.

This preparation time includes

  • solidifiying and recalling the meeting purpose
  • finalizing the agenda
  • considering how I want to show up for the meeting
  • facilition methods I need to prepare
  • consider any landmines I may face in the meeting
  • setting up the physical or virtual space
  • reserving time for follow up after the meeting

We can’t apply this role to every meeting we facilitate. If we did, we’d be limited to about 12 hourss of facilitated meetings a week if we did nothing else. If you are struggling in your facilitation, consider if more preparation would help and apply the 2 to 1 rule for your crucial meetings.