So many people run into meetings unprepared. So many ideas are launched without even the tiniest bit of research.

Just taking 15 minutes to read a couple of articles and blog posts will take you farther than most others. Reserve another 15 minutes to write down your thoughts, find a book around the topic to get a deeper understanding and you’re on track to be “the expert” on a certain topic (technically you won’t be an expert, but you’ll know so much more on the topic that you’ll be regarded as one).

Preparations for meetings are just as easy: review the agenda, know what you want to say. It will make sure you’ve done everything in your power to make the meeting run on time. It will make it easier to get your thoughts heard, because you thought about how to bring them to the table. Added benefit: it will allow you to listen better instead of being busy preparing your own arguments, because you’ve already done that part.

Lots of people say that they don’t have the time to get prepared. Obviously this is a false statement, they just don’t give it enough priority. I’m using my weekly review to schedule blocks of time to prepare my meetings in advance. Just try it, I’m sure you’ll notice the difference.

Which strategies do you use to be more prepared?