“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be meetings.” —Dave Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author.
In the morning of 20170426, I received an email asking me to attend a meeting that serves other’s agenda and I know that it will be futile for me. Our time is our currency, commodity, and irreversible gift. There are many things that I need to deliver, I must prioritize ruthlessly.
To avoid pointless meetings:
- learn to say No diplomatically: be courageous yet tactful e.g. an overlap responsibility (a tips shared by Honey Panda who has been working 7 days a week since late Summer 2016)
- ask people to write reports or questions before the meetings
- encourage promptness
- schedule meetings at weird times e.g. 1.17 pm
- “do not waste time telling stragglers what was discussed before they arrived“
- limit the number of people, tailor the invitation list
- make meetings uncomfortable e.g. standing meeting, walk-and-talk meeting as advocated by Nilofer Merchant.
- use video-conferencing, skype, etc.
- more ideas to come …
If we need to have a meeting:
- set and adhere to an agenda
- use visuals e.g. a whiteboard to get people to express ideas (remember to make a record of it e.g. by taking a photo of the brainstormed whiteboard)
- make decisions, assign tasks, set deadlines.