I am not a big fan of meetings. It’s not the meeting part that I don’t like, it’s the inefficiencies and the wasting of time that drives me absolutely batty. Many meetings, in my opinion, shouldn’t even be meetings, they should be emails or phone calls. Not everyone belongs in all meetings, yet we are invited anyway. If people were actually charged handsomely for hosting a meeting based on time and the number of attendees, I believe many of the problems would be solved.
The time people allot for meetings is a lot like water—it tends to fill up the space it is poured into. Thanks to Covid, people are trying to make their meetings shorter—5-10 minutes shorter so there is a brief break before jumping right back into another meeting. But I still think meetings are way too long. People hunker down in these inefficient, often redundant, time-wasters and accept the status quo, allthewhile complaining about them! Why? It’s time to make a stand.
Here is one hack for meetings if you want to figure out exactly the right amount of time you need to make it efficient: keep making it shorter by 15 minutes until you intuitively say, “There is no way we could get everything done in that time!” Choose that time. People will instinctively be more efficient if they know they are pressed for time. Or add back 10 minutes if that will make you feel less pressured. There are so many other ways to create an efficient meeting, please reach out to me if you’d like more details. But remember this: No one is going to be mad at you for suggesting that you try to shorten up your work meetings—literally no one! They will thank you.