10 Business Meetings that Will Waste Your Time

10 Meetings to Waste Your Time

Look at your calendar.

How many meetings do you have today? This week?

Probably, too many. (Most workers attend 62 meetings per month.)

I would also hazard a guess that many of them are a complete waste of time.

How do you tell which meetings are worth the investment of your time and which ones that you should skip?

Are Your Meetings a Waste of Time?

I was recently with an executive who was complaining about “yet another” meeting. He said that he didn’t understand why the meeting was necessary, and he was upset that he spent an hour attending it. Afterwards, he vented that the “meeting shouldn’t have taken place.”

In this particular case, I agreed with this individual that he shouldn’t have attended the meeting. However, I disagreed that the meeting shouldn’t have taken place.

In this case, the meeting was necessary… it was his attendance that wasn’t needed.

‘Not all meetings are worth your time.’

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What meetings shouldn’t be on your calendar?

Here are 10 Business Meetings that Will Waste Your Time:

  1. The Meeting with No Agenda – A meeting with no plan is a plan for wasting time. I have seen meetings that go for multiple hours with no topic and no results.
  2. The Unneeded Standing Meeting – Standing meetings are the bane of corporate calendars. Cancel repeat offenders that are not needed, and only have meetings when there are decisions to be made.
  3. The Meeting Scheduled for Too Much Time – Why is the default meeting time 1 hour? Meetings expand to fill the allotted time, and most meetings could be accomplished in half the time scheduled.
  4. The Meeting You Didn’t Call – This one isn’t meant to be rude, but just because someone sends you a meeting invite doesn’t mean you have to accept. Learn to say No when appropriate.
  5. The Meeting with Too Many Attendees – Avoid meetings with too many people. If there are more than a handful of attendees, there is no chance of meaningful conversation.
  6. The Meeting You are Not Involved In – A meeting with the wrong attendees gets nowhere. If you are not a key player or decision maker for the topic at hand, there is no reason for you to attend.
  7. The Back-to-Back or Overlapping Meeting – Avoid meetings that play havoc on your calendar. You simply cannot be in two (or more) places at once. Avoid meetings that create conflicts in your schedule and cause unneeded stress in your day.
  8. The Document Review Session – Have you ever been to a meeting where the leader proceeds to read the long document that was distributed to the team? Sitting around a table having “reading time” is not a good use of team members’ time.
  9. The Obnoxious Lunch Meeting – Just because someone else wants to have a meeting during lunch doesn’t mean you should. In fact, there are many more productive things you can do during lunch than have an unnecessary lunch meeting.
  10. The Meeting You Should Have Said No ToSaying No is an important skill, but even if you accepted a meeting invite, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. Politely decline in advance of the meeting.

The Meeting You Should Have Skipped

Before you blindly accept every meeting request that lands in your inbox, stop and consider the investment of time required.

Ask yourself, “Is this meeting worth my time?

If not, make sure that you skip those time-wasting meetings.

You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll have more time to get your work done.

Question: What meetings on your calendar are wasting your time? Which should you skip? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

5 thoughts on “10 Business Meetings that Will Waste Your Time

  1. The “transition” meetings that have no end… the ones where your responsibilities are being re-assigned to others. Kindly decline the meetings, offer to help the new owners if/when they get stuck and opt for trial by fire.

    And the meetings where at least one of a group of people should attend, but there’s no need for the entire group to be there. Tag-team it and catch up on the highlights later — preferably via an email.

  2. Everyday there are more and more meetings that we could avoid to save our precious time. And be more productive at work as a result. Thanks to various collaboration tools our team can for example brainstorm online so we don’t have to meet everyday.
    I read a very interesting article about things at work which are a real time wasters (here: http://kanbantool.com/blog/time-wasters-what-kills-our-productivity-at-work) and decided to try to avoid them. We’ll see if my productivity will increase.

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