8 Ways to Have Fewer Meetings in Your Day

Fewer MeetingsHave you ever spent an entire day in meetings?

I bet at the end of the last meeting, you were exhausted.

As well, you probably felt like you didn’t accomplish much, and you were worrying about all the things you didn’t get done while you were locked up in a conference room.

How do you know when too many meetings is just too many?

Meetings as an Excuse

Have you ever used the excuse, “Sorry, but I was in a meeting…?”

Sorry that

…you didn’t get that project done.

…you didn’t get back to someone.

…you didn’t finish that important task.

“Being in meetings isn’t an excuse for not getting work done. It’s a sign that you aren’t prioritizing your day.”

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Too Many Meetings, Not Enough Done

You may ask, “How many meetings is too many?”

As a guideline, I would argue that if you are spending more than half of your day “sitting” in meetings that is too much.

“If you are spending more than half of your day in meetings, you aren’t being effective with your time.’

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Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan or block your day. It means that you shouldn’t spend hour upon hour of your valuable time locked away in a conference room in meaningless meetings.

To get more done, you need to spend less time in meetings.

Here are 8 Ways to Have Fewer Meetings in Your Day:

  1. Only Attend Meetings YOU Should – Avoid joining meetings where you personally are not needed. If you are a manager, should someone else from your team be attending? If you are a team member, you don’t need yourself and 5 of your peers in the same conference room. (Unless, of course, none of them are capable of reporting back.)
  2. Practice Right to Decline – Say No when appropriate to meeting invites. Too many companies have a meeting culture that implies you must accept any meeting invite that lands in your inbox. Don’t fall into this trap, or you will be at the mercy of everyone that wants to fill up your calendar.
  3. Invite Fewer People – Most meetings have too many people in attendance. (I recently saw one that had 42 people invited!) Less attendees mean more productive discussions and shorter meetings.
  4. Schedule them for Less Time – Your meeting can be shorter. Meetings expand to fill the allowed time. Schedule them for less time. A good practice to try is to “cut your meetings in half.”
  5. Avoid Bad Meetings – Don’t even bother with “bad meetings.” Those with no purpose, no agenda, and no advance notice. Just say no. (See #2)
  6. Block Your Calendar – Make room for your priorities by putting them directly on your calendar. Block time for your important tasks. Otherwise, you will spend countless hours in meeting rooms listening to other people’s disorganization.
  7. Eliminate Standing Meetings – The majority of standing meetings are a waste of time. They gather large amounts of team members together for a rote recap of nothingness. There is often no true agenda, and very little action results.
  8. Schedule Less Meetings – Are you the one responsible for filling up everyone’s calendar? If so, you need to throttle back on the meeting invites. Instead of knee-jerking and scheduling a meeting, try the more direct route. Call someone, walk down the hall, or even just go see someone to have a conversation rather than a meeting.

Spend Less Time in Meetings

If you are spending time in meetings all day, you aren’t getting to the priorities of your day. This applies to both work and your personal life.

Take a hard look at your schedule for today and this week.

Spend less time in meetings and get more of your important work done.

Question: Are you spending too much of your workday in meetings? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

2 thoughts on “8 Ways to Have Fewer Meetings in Your Day

  1. I agree with almost everything! However, our stand up meetings are the most productive. Normally it’s time sensitive and best delivered person to person.

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