How can you skip meetings that waste your time? You receive the subpoena and you know what it is – you’ve been there a million times before. The team update meeting will waste your time. You’ll be overloaded with other important work – and the seemingly endless chit-chat “planning and update” meeting won’t crush your goals – but it can crush your soul.
Some meetings cannot be avoided, even if they waste your time
You already know that some meetings are unavoidable, even if they are a huge waste of time. These meetings are usually the ones that boss thinks are motivating and worth gold. For this kind of face-to-face contact – you just have to suck it up and attend.
You can put up with these meetings more easily if you learn how to predict them, which is pretty easy – Monday morning – surprise, surprise. On your busiest, most intense workday, let’s insert an eerie omen of doom. Let’s take a look at all the things some employees missed last week as inspiration for the week ahead. Not a good leadership strategy.
Here are a few strategies for getting out of a meeting that you know will be ineffective or at the very least hurt your productivity and time.
Determine which meetings are crucial to attend
The following is a short list of meetings you want to attend; remember that since the pandemic — meetings are permanently changedand you have more options.
- The most important meetings are when: people make choices and make final decisions.
- You can’t make high-stakes choices by email, such as start dates or project assignments and options.
- You want to be present when everyone is expressing their perspective or expressing concerns. You want to be part of the solution.
- Remember, you can’t always predict what will happen in a meeting — you don’t want to miss the choices that affect you.
You want to be present at every meeting that provides an overarching direction to follow. You want to have your say in these meetings. If the meeting is about launch dates, new projects, sales team recommendations (which may be accepted), and milestone check-ins, be there.
Attend meetings that establish connection. If the higher brass is in town – be there. Also, take the time to build business and employee relationships, even during a meeting. Building relationships is an additional, but valid, reason to attend a gathering. The topic may be boring or useless, but if you can improve something, link with a critical contact by spending time with them, that is not a bad result.
Funnel Meeting Availability
It’s pretty easy to call individuals for a meeting and you don’t have to be available all the time. It’s fine to make your calendar public, where someone can request an appointment, but you can be more selective about who has access. It may be part of your corporate culture for everyone to openly disclose their agenda, but you could use stricter screening.
Try to route the availability of your meetings to specific days. For example, arrange a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday. To get your time and attention. part of the screening process is to have the meeting applicant do “homework.” Everyone, except the most fanatics, will be put off by this.
Meeting Management Tactics
Use higher thinking Director management tactics for yourself, whether you are the CEO or not. Then have applicants answer a few questions for you before agreeing to attend.
- What exactly is the subject?
- Do you have a plan?
- Do you have a time limit and time frame?
- Check the date and time, as well as the location.
- Who else will be there?
- During the meeting – what do you expect from my presence?
If the applicant is just keeping you informed, bend over quickly and ask him to include that information in an email.
Do you still find it hard to say no?
You can be sure that the meeting will last at least an hour – more if you have travel time. But if you can attend via Zoom, you can still get other things done, and the hourly meeting will then be limited to an hour without the extra driving time.
See if you can make a quick phone call. If all the information is covered by your “meeting management tactics” (above), express your happiness and say, “Oh, good, we’ve covered all your questions and updates.”
Have your excuses ready, but don’t use the same one every time
- I will be out of town for the next two weeks – please contact me afterwards.
- Contact me after the 15th and we’ll sort something out.
- If you have a concrete reason, give it. I run the so-and-so project, but I want to help. How can we streamline my involvement in this project?
The applicant often finds after two weeks that the request has lost its urgency.
Maybe you should give in and go
Some people waste a lot of time trying to get out of work instead of diving in and getting it done. Walking away from a meeting for more than a few minutes is way too much time. In this case, it’s easier to go and make the most of it. After that, don’t keep chatting – go to the meeting and finish the work quickly.
Inform your employer or colleagues that your time is limited
You don’t have to be hard on it, but you can let your employer or co-workers know that your time is limited and that they should make their demands wisely.
You can request “quick” information in advance that you can use later.
Always remain professional and courteous when you skip meetings that are a waste of time
Even competent managers and colleagues may forget that everyone has a time limit. You can gently remind those present and bring them back to reality. A team leader or manager, in particular, should help the team individual understand the consequences of their hasty meeting invitations.
Stay professional and polite. You don’t want to be the manager or team member who spends “averaging 62 hours per month of employee time” by becoming passive-aggressive toward meetings. Unfortunately, some people show up late (don’t!), then sit down and fiddle with their devices.
Please don’t go for the worst option of all – because it reinforces a workplace culture where it’s okay to ignore your coworkers and ignore the time of others.
Be “all-in” during your meetings
Show up a few minutes early for your meetings and be happy to help those in attendance. Connect and enjoy yourself and help others enjoy the meeting. But insist that the meeting starts on time – every time and that the information presented in the session is important. Try to contribute something valuable to each meeting.
The above methods will help you navigate better, reclaim your time, and protect. As a result, you are better able to complete your essential task rather than rushing from meeting to meeting without benefit.
Recommended image credit: Tima; Pexels; Thank you!
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