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Data from StatsSA shows that South Africans spend about two hours a day in meetings. This would be impressive if those 120-odd minutes were productive, but too much of that time is wasted. Daniel Marcus, the CEO of Magnetic Software, which provides a process management tool for small businesses, says owners and managers can make meetings more productive. "Meetings have become prevalent fixtures in today's organisational culture, particularly within client service and project-driven business models. However, when teams are calling meetings to prep and plan for future meetings, something needs to give." He has the following advice: • Every meeting must have an agenda, which must be stuck to. "The agenda should be sent out ... before the meeting ... and contain a finite number of items to be discussed and resolved," says Marcus; • "Parkinson's Law ... suggests that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. This means that if a full hour has been allotted to a meeting,...

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