How to get out of meetings that suck


Internal communications for an organization is vital for collaboration. A company in which their employees are working at the same beat are more likely to have better delivery times for their projects. Meetings are a good thing for an organization especially when department heads need to coordinate the work activities of their staff with others in the organization.

With all of the coordination benefits of meetings, there is a downside when you start to associate work productivity by having more meetings. Just like anything else, too much of one thing can erode the benefits. For example, we can make a similar case for something as simple as coffee. If you have one cup of coffee in the morning, then it will rev your body up. If you have 8 cups of coffee, then you would be jittery and shakey. The idea is that you do not want to overdo too much of one thing that it starts to harm you.

There are some tactics that you can use to free up your calendar and get out of those unnecessary meetings which are bringing your productivity down.

  1. Identify which meetings do not add value
    The first step in getting rid of unnecessary meetings is to identify which meetings do not add value to your work. You need to set up a system for yourself to evaluate each meeting. You need to determine if the meeting is a waste of time, or value-added. If the meeting is value-added, then you show up at the meeting. If the meeting is a waste of time, then you notify the meeting organizer that you would not be able to add any value to the meeting, and there is no point for you to be there. Every organization has its internal politics, and please make sure to use your best judgment in communicating to the right authorities without burning any working relationships.
  2. Set up a meeting policy
    Set up a meeting policy for yourself and communicate your plan to your team members. Let them know that you are willing to go to meetings that you can provide knowledge and advice relating to your domain of work. You want people to see that you are a good worker and you want to maximize your time for efficiency. Most managers and co-workers can respect a person who wants to be productive for their organization.
  3. Use your calendar to schedule work time
    Your calendar is a powerful tool that you need to leverage to let people know your daily schedule. Most calendars such as Outlook are internally sharable within the organization. You can book time on your calendar which is dedicated to working and allow some time throughout the day for meetings. This is an excellent way to manage your time efficiently.
  4. Encourage a culture of productivity
    You want to be part of a group who supports productivity. You want to encourage awareness within the department and externally about the value of time. Time is money, and you want to make the most of company resources.

These four strategies should provide a useful framework for you to use to help you identify and get out of meetings that do not add value to your day. Remember that your time is valuable. Please, make the most out of it.

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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