Most meetings are a waste of time
Besides reading and replying to nonsense e-mails, meetings are probably the single, largest waste of time in the workplace. (In order for a meeting to take place, everybody involved must collectively stop being productive). Between the scheduling, small talk, and preparation, it’s a wonder that anything ever gets done. I mean really, what is the point of having a meeting just to decide to meet again in order to “discuss this further” so we can meet again to “discuss this further?” We shouldn’t set our agenda around meetings, but other, more important milestones.
Use social media when you can be more productive
I argue that about 90 percent of meetings never need to be held. Most could be alleviated with a quick e-mail, or better yet, an internal social network. Rather than spend 45 minutes to an hour (and rearranging my schedule) for a simple status update, I’d much rather spend 5 minutes reading a bulletin or blog post at my leisure. Then, when an idea comes to us, we can make note of them, conduct polls and research, and come to better conclusions than we can in a 45 minute session. Maybe one day, all managers will realize this. People who call several meetings are normally trying to cover up a lack of work or are looking for reasons to avoid doing it in the first place.
How to run a meeting
I know that some meetings are necessary. When they are unavoidable, they should be conducted correctly. No meeting should last longer than 30 minutes. Every meeting should have an actionable agenda with a defined purpose, set of goals, and actionable steps. One person should lead the meeting. Attendees should not be allowed to deviate too much from the topic. If you want to get together to talk, call it a break and make it pleasurable. If it’s really a meeting, conduct it as one.