That means “No Meeting Friday!”
That is when we set aside Friday from the wasteful distraction of meetings and concentrate on doing real, creative work. It can be the most productive day of the work week.
What? Your workplace doesn’t observe “No Meeting Friday?” Well, you can still do your best to claim it for your own. Read my previous post “No Meeting Friday” for some tips.
Death by Meeting?
Why do so many companies allow themselves to be paralyzed by schedules that are so full of meetings that no real work ever gets done. Some companies have literally put themselves out of business by locking themselves in the boardroom.
“A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.”
Does this sound like your workplace?
Yet, so many companies let meetings rule the day. To increase productivity, companies need to bring back more actual interaction. People hide behind meetings. Meetings keep them from having to do actual work or interact with others, and they are a great way to appear busy.
One way to combat endless meetings is to give your employees the “Right to Decline.” This means that employees have the right to decline meetings as they deem fit. This is a powerful way of ensuring that meetings are necessary and effective. Because if they are not, your employees will know it and stop attending.
9 Reasons Why You Should Skip That Meeting
One of the biggest business myths is that meetings are necessary and productive. However, most meetings are not worth our time.
Here are 9 Reasons “Why You Should Skip That Meeting:”
- No Agenda – How many meetings do you attend that have no defined purpose? You show up and everyone is sitting there wondering what is to be discussed. If a meeting does not have a clear list of things to be accomplished in advance, it should not be held.
- The Meeting Will Start Late – How many meetings in your workplace actually start on time? Be honest. I used to work for a company where the 8AM staff meeting was so consistently late that people started calling it the “820” meeting. Why? Because that is when it usually started each day. Does your company have an “820?”
- No One is Prepared – Even when a meeting does have a purpose, how many people actually show up prepared? Are they ready? Have they reviewed the documents? Are they aware of the issue? This is not grade school, but everyone should be expected to do their homework.
- People Will Be Late – How many meetings end up restarting at the 19 minute point. “Oh…sorry that I am late, folks. Can you back up and tell me what I missed.” The answer should be, “No.” I recommend not letting anyone join the meeting who is more than 5 minutes late. After that, they can get caught up later.
- No Action Taken – Do you finish meetings with nothing accomplished? It is truly amazing how many meetings have little actionable outcome. The team just spent 60 minutes in a room and no decisions were made and no follow-up will happen on the items discussed.
- People Will Work on Other Things – I recently observed a meeting where eight of twelve people in the room were busy tapping on their laptops or cellphones. And you wonder why your meeting is not effective? Attendees must be “In The Meeting,” or else they should be asked to leave. Better yet, ban phones and laptops from your meetings. Bonus tip: If your people are working on other things, this is a red flare that your meetings are not worth attending. They are speaking with their actions, rather than their mouth.
- You Really Won’t Miss Much – People tell me they are afraid that if they skip a meeting, that they might miss something important. Unless they are handing out free money, I guarantee you will not miss much. Try it. Find a legitimate reason if you must, and then miss a meeting that you consider important. You will surprised at what you didn’t miss. And if you did, someone will let you know.
- Too Long – When I see a meeting invite for 2 or more hours, I have to resist the urge to instantly hit delete. Meetings should not last more than one hour. Anything beyond that is not effective.
- You Could be Getting Work Done. – There is a famous business quote that, “either you are in a meeting or you are getting work done.” Meetings do not get work done, they create more work. Too often, people say they cannot get their job done because they have too many meetings. Minimize meetings to maximize team productivity.
Miss the Meeting, Get the Work Done
Most companies have their people sitting in endless, often purposeless, meetings. What they are in essence saying is, “Don’t do your real work, and instead sit in meeting rooms for hours on end.”
Let’s set aside the meetings. Allow yourself and your team get some creative work done. At least on Friday’s.
How does your workplace do at managing meetings? What are your thoughts on meetings and getting things done?