5 Tips to Skip Meetings That Are A Waste of Time

What Meetings Should You Skip Today?

Not all meetings are created equal.

In fact, most are downright wastes of time. Sometimes, they are simply gatherings of employees to discuss a topic that no one is prepared for and that no one will take action on afterwards.

Today, I want to give you some tips to help you determine which meetings are worth your time, and the ones you should avoid.

What Meetings Can You Skip Today?

Too often, meetings are called because the organizer has a question they need answered, or a topic they don’t understand. Instead of taking the action required to resolve, they “call a meeting” to get their answer.

Not the most effective use of anyone’s time. But, it happens all the time in corporate environments. Second only to email, meetings are one of the top time wasters in most companies.

So, how do you avoid the meetings that aren’t worth your time?

It requires some discipline with your calendar. Other times, it will require you to stand strong in defend your time.

Here are 5 Tips to Avoid Meetings that are a Waste of Time:

  1. Consider the Purpose – Look at each obligation on your calendar and ask, “What is the purpose and outcome of this meeting?” If you can’t simply answer this question, then the meeting probably is poorly thought out. Avoid these as they are probably just for others to “think” with an audience.
  2. Make Sure There is Preparation – It is a waste of time to get a group of people together without any preparation. Last minute meetings, meetings without an agenda or advanced materials. No one wants to get locked in a meeting room to “read aloud” documents that individuals could have reviewed in advance.
  3. Block Your Calendar – One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary meetings is to “fill your calendar up before others do.” Block your calendar in advice of the work week. Better yet, two weeks out. Schedule time for your projects and work before meetings are able to take over your calendar.
  4. Say No When Appropriate – Just because someone has figured out how to send meeting invitations doesn’t mean that you have to accept. Practice the “Right to Decline” and say No when appropriate. And just because you said Yes earlier, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. Just make sure you cancel with some advance notice. No need to be rude.
  5. Resolve Beforehand – Many meetings can be remedied by a simply discussion. Often a simple phone call or in-person chat can work out the issue. Then the organize will say, “Oh, I guess we don’t need that meeting after all.”

Avoid Meetings That Shouldn’t Be Meetings

Take a look at your calendar and evaluate the meetings that are upcoming.

Which ones shouldn’t be meetings?

Perhaps, there are several that you can defuse by a phone call or quick chat. Others you may need to politely (but firmly) decline.

Then, look ahead and start booking your own time before others fill up your calendar.

Question: How do you avoid meetings that are a waste of time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Invest just 10 minutes a day toward the right ideas, behaviors and strategies to finally be more productive at work…so you can spend less time there! 31 Days, 31 Ways: Daily Tips for Time Management Mastery is my time management course, containing 31 powerful daily lessons and 31 actionable exercises designed to help you take action, reduce stress, and reclaim your time. Click here to learn more.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Wayne McDougall

    Point 3 “advice of the work week’ should read “advance of the work week”