Stop Wasting Time With Meetings
13 tips on how to stop meetings from ruling your life.
Seriously. They are the biggest waste of time.
We can't change the world if we're too busy talking about changing it.
"Don't talk about it, be about it" - Me
Here are 13 tips to help stop meetings from ruling your life:
1. Don't have them.
99% of meetings could've been an email or a @loom video.
People are lazy & don't want to take the time to articulate their thoughts properly.
They'd rather sit in a room for an hour & stumble over their words until they reach some sort of an understanding.
2. Articulate your thoughts better.
Whether written, audio, or video, learn to articulate. Don't waste my time because you haven't taken the time to figure out what you want to say.
3. Read your emails.
People complain about not having time to read emails but will happily sit around in a boardroom looking busy.
They'll choose a 30-60-minute meeting over a 5-minute email!!?? 🤔
If someone takes the time to articulate their thoughts, read it.
4. Time is money.
I like to apply an hourly cost to meetings (in my head).
4 people attending a meeting? $120 an hour.
The more senior the person, the higher the hourly rate.
You quickly begin to realise how much time and money we flush down the toilet with meetings.
5. "Meetings are great for team bonding."
No, they're not.
I invariably dislike everyone just a little bit more after a pointless meeting.
If you want to bond with me, let's play Street Fighter, jam on guitars, or go play some pool.
6. Does it need to be face-to-face (F2F)?
The reason we need F2F is because we want people's attention.
Take the time to respond to comms, articulate clearly, & do the things we say we'll do, & maybe we won't need as many F2F meetings.
7. Set an agenda and stick to it.
Attendees can come prepared to address each point and then leave.
8. Respect people's time.
Anything different to the agreed-upon agenda needs approval from attendees. This includes:
meetings running over time
adding to the agenda
Don't assume that everyone is happy to hang around just because you are.
9. Finish early.
Just because you've set a 30-minute meeting doesn't mean it needs to take that long.
You don't have a monopoly over other people's time.
10. No side conversations.
This isn't high school.
Aside from initial greetings and niceties, get started on time and focus.
Nothing irks me more than 2 people talking while someone else is speaking.
It's distracting, rude and inconsiderate.
11. Turn up on time.
If you have a valid reason for being late, at least send a message saying you will be late or can't make it.
Any self-respecting adult shouldn't need another adult to chase them up.
12. Be prepared.
Test your tech
Open browser tabs
It's laughable how common it is to sit in a meeting and watch people fiddle around with logins, create accounts or stumble around looking for files.
You set the meeting ya bish! Be prepared.
13. Reward output over input.
In most meetings, you talk about the work that needs to be done, and/or add more work to the list.
Rarely does any work actually get done.
Why are meetings so inefficient?
It comes down to a lack of SOPs, inconsistent use of SOPs, and an ultimate lack of communication.
Ask anyone who's tried to implement a project management system at work.
It doesn't matter how great the software is, it will only ever be as good as the people who use it.
It's also a management issue.
The head steers the body.
If management is flustered and disorganised, the team will be too.
Managers are often too focused on meeting the expectations of upper management that they fail to implement robust systems & processes.
Symptoms to look out for:
The company is more reactive than proactive
Meetings start late
No agenda is set
Meetings run over time
Communication is inconsistent & vague
This way of working isn’t sustainable.
I guarantee you, balls will be dropped & asses will be kicked.
10 mins now can save you 60 mins later.
Learn to accept delayed gratification.
Read that email now
Write that agenda now
...and enjoy the time savings in the future.
Time > money
Efficiency > grinding
Output > input
Productivity > busyness
There are better ways of doing things.
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