Avoid time-wasting meetings: 10 tips (free PDF)

Some meetings are useful, but plenty of others definitely aren’t—and your time is too valuable to spend sitting in on the latter. This ebook offers a number of strategies for sidestepping the pointless time-wasters so you can focus on the meetings and conversations that matter.

From the ebook:

Company meetings can be helpful to communicate ideas, establish project goals, and identify responsibilities, but they can also be a huge drain on your productivity if misused. This is especially problematic in larger companies.

It’s understandable why there is a strong corporate mindset to “get everyone in a room” (whether physical or virtual), but a lot of time can end up wasted if the appropriate resources aren’t present, unnecessary attendees are invited, or the discussion is inadequate or goes awry. As a hint: You can tell people’s attention spans are suffering if they drag out their phones or ask questions, which need repeating.

I’m opposed to unnecessary meetings because I work in IT where every moment of the day counts. I don’t have a lot of spare time, and I need to make the most out of the hours I put in.

I’ve also observed (from a cynical standpoint I admit) that more and more people seem averse to reading and writing and consider a face-to-face discussion or phone call a preferable alternative.

Lastly, the concept of a meeting fits poorly into the global society we’re slowing merging with, such that we often have coworkers and contacts spread around the globe, making it difficult to conduct a meeting during a timeframe appropriate for all.

Here are 10 ways I’ve saved my sanity by avoiding meetings that either don’t need to happen or don’t need to involve me.

Promote a minimalist schedule
Many companies send out generic meeting invites for events or discussions that may not be relevant to every proposed attendee. For instance, it could involve a recurring problem incident analysis or upcoming change review, which may have no bearing upon your responsibilities or workload—or perhaps even an obscure holiday celebration or social activity, which may not hold interest for you or which you might not attend.

Carefully vet the details of any meeting invite. If it’s not related to you or your position, or you’re not going to be present anyway, just decline it.

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