Are meetings taking over your life? Try these 5 strategies.

“I’m so excited for this day of back to back meetings!”, said no one ever.

So, what can you do about it if your weeks feel like a never-ending slog of non-stop meetings?:

Limit Information-Only (aka Status Update) Meetings

Reduce the Default Length of Meetings

  • If you default to an hour, try 30 minutes as the new default.
  • If you default to 30 minutes, try 20 minutes as the new default.

Carefully Consider All Recurring Meetings

  • Let colleagues know that it is always OK to suggest that a meeting be cancelled if they don’t think it will be necessary/valuable. (It won’t hurt your feelings! In fact, you’re likely to feel that they are respecting your time more!)
  • Review your calendar for recurring meetings and decide if those on your plate are valuable:
  • Cancel those that are not valuable and let your colleagues know that ad hoc, as needed, meetings will be scheduled instead.
  • If the meetings are sometimes useful, consider reducing the frequency. Turn a weekly meeting into semi-monthly meeting.

Consolidate Your Meetings

  • Consider a “no meeting” day. I wrote a while back about how “ no meeting Mondays “ have literally changed my world. (Seriously, that’s how I get this blog post written, consistently, week after week. I write it on Mondays, a day I have no meetings.)
  • Consolidate your meetings within the day. See if you can lump all your meetings together in the mornings, or the afternoons, so that you have larger blocks of work time available within a given day.

Use Office Hours

Are all meetings bad?

Now you’re armed with some tips and tricks to start making room for more work time, during the work day. Next week, I’ll be talking about how to make the meetings the meetings still on your calendar even more efficient.

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