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Avoid Long Meetings with Efficient Scheduling in Microsoft Outlook

In today's fast-paced corporate environment, Microsoft Outlook offers a range of tools designed to optimize meeting scheduling, aiming to redefine our approach to setting up meetings. This guide delves into harnessing these tools, paired with Microsoft Teams, to achieve a streamlined meeting experience.

real picture of two young and motivated business professional utilizing the speedy meetings and having massive time savings


Setting Up Efficient Meetings in Outlook: A Step-by-step Guide

Adjusting your meeting durations in Outlook is a breeze. Here's a quick guide:

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook.

  2. Select File > Options > Calendar > Calendar options.

  3. Check the "Shorten appointments and meetings" checkbox.

  4. In the dropdown, choose either "End early" or "Start late."

  5. Use the drop-downs to select the number of minutes for events that are less than one hour and for those that are one hour or longer.

  6. Click OK to save your preferences.

Picture showing the setting in Outlook.

Note: Once set, this configuration will apply across various Outlook platforms including Outlook for Windows, the new Outlook for Mac, Outlook on the web, Outlook for iOS, and Outlook for Android.

Embracing the Power of 25 and 50-Minute Meetings in Outlook

With Outlook's customized scheduling, 25 and 50-minute meetings become a productivity benchmark. Understanding the significance:

  • 30-minute meetings: Transitioning to 25 minutes fosters crisp discussions and counters Parkinson's Law.

  • 60-minute meetings: Condensing to 50 minutes offers a break between ongoing meetings, avoiding meeting fatigue.

By adjusting to these specific durations, you promote discussions that are both engaging and decisive, driving productivity.

Top 7 Tips for Conducting Productive Meetings in Outlook

  1. Strict Timing: Commit to starting and finishing on time. This respect for the clock guarantees all important issues are addressed within the allocated slot.

  2. Clear Agenda: Before the meeting, circulate a detailed agenda. This roadmap is crucial for guiding a focused and effective conversation.

  3. Advance Preparation: Encourage participants to come prepared. This readiness enriches the discussion and enhances outcomes.

  4. Scheduled Breaks: For longer meetings, schedule brief intermissions. These pauses help maintain energy and attentiveness.

  5. Participant Limits: Keep the invite list to a necessary minimum. This ensures that everyone who is there has a clear role and can contribute meaningfully.

  6. Action Items: End each meeting with clear action items and owners. Accountability drives progress post-meeting.

  7. Follow-Up: Send a summary and next steps within 24 hours of the meeting. Prompt follow-up keeps momentum and clarity high.

Extending Meeting Durations in Outlook

If a discussion requires more time, Outlook allows easy time adjustments. During the meeting, use the "Change Duration" option to allocate more discussion time.


The combination of Microsoft Outlook's scheduling nuances with Microsoft Teams’ collaborative features marks a transformative era in meeting efficiency. Embrace this combined approach to foster a work culture where meetings are not merely concise but also yield significant outcomes, setting the stage for heightened productivity and meaningful conversations.

If you want to dive deeper...

If you want to dive deeper into the topic of optimizing meetings and productivity in a corporate setting, consider exploring the following blog posts that expand on various strategies and tools for efficient work management and collaboration:

  • Embracing Efficiency in Home Office Meetings: Tired of distractions interrupting your flow? Get insights on running distraction-free home office meetings for better focus and results. Read more...

  • The Future of Team Building: Delve into the evolving landscape of remote team building and discover innovative strategies to keep your team connected in 2023. Explore here...

  • Onboarding in a Digital World: Integrating new members into your remote teams can be a challenge. Find out how to make this process seamless and effective. Learn more...

  • Fostering Collaboration in Virtual Teams: Gain proven strategies to enhance collaboration and productivity within your remote teams in the coming year. Discover strategies...

  • Upskilling & Reskilling: Understand why continuous learning is the key to success for remote teams in the current work climate. Dive deeper...

Trusted partners like Omio, Uber, and DiscoEat effectively utilizing Verbally, the virtual meeting assistant, to enhance their meeting productivity and efficiency.


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