By taking a look at our schedule, we can see the number of meetings we have planned; probably too many. Nearly all of these meetings are not only unproductive, but also boring and a waste of time. Not to mention the cost involved for the company!
When we are called to a meeting, how can we know whether we should attend or not? Are all of them a waste of time? No! Meetings are necessary and can be a useful and efficient tool in companies. The thing is, some situations just don’t require a meeting to be held. Have a look at these 10 situations when you should not have a meeting:
1. If nobody has set an agenda
Without an agenda in which objectives and topics to be dealt with are previously set, it will be virtually impossible to make sense of a meeting. Set the agenda in advance, it is imperative to set the pace of the meeting and focus on relevant issues. When you have it, you can call the attendees.
2. If punctuality is not respected
Rule number 1 for meetings to be actually productive is time. You should avoid not only attending those meetings that do not establish an adequate duration and respect speaking time, but also those who start late. Penalize tardiness for the sake of efficiency.
3. Improvised situations
Meetings should be convened in time to be able to organize the agenda and allow attendees enough time to prepare their speeches. Do not allow impromptu meetings to interrupt your planning.
4. If they take too much of your time
When you call for a meeting, by default it is usually set to last for one hour. The vast majority of them can be done in half the scheduled time. Avoid long meetings!
5. Conferences instead of meetings
It is important to appoint a moderator to ensure compliance with the different topics and objectives, but a meeting should not revolve around just one person and their speech. The meeting should be useful to exchange ideas, discuss and offer proposals. Avoid meetings that you cannot actively participate in.
6. If there are too many people
Meetings with too many participants are unlikely to be productive, as you won’t be able to have meaningful conversations or make important decisions.
7. If the topic does not affect you directly
If you are not involved in the topic to be discussed at the meeting, there is no reason for you to attend. Attend only those meetings in which your participation is key.
8. If you do not have availability
We cannot be in two places at the same time, so cancel those meetings that overlap in your schedule; you’ll see your stress level decrease.
9. If it’s lunch time
Lunch time can and must be used for many things, but it needn’t be turned into yet another work meeting. Take advantage of your time off to recharge your batteries.
10. If you are in your productive working time or at the end of the work day
Avoid meetings that affect your productive working hours, take that time to work through the most important tasks. For that same reason, try not to convene or attend meetings later in the day. You probably will not reach any conclusions and decisions will not be made because people are tired and distracted.
In short, it is often that we are called for a meeting, but before deciding whether to attend that meeting or not, we should ask ourselves if it will be really productive for us and it won’t mean a waste of time. If we stop attending unnecessary meetings, we will be improving our productivity. What meetings do you think you can avoid?