You probably don’t need me to tell you that meetings can be a complete and utter waste of time. By some estimates, the average office worker is spending more than 800 hours a year in meetings with around 25% of that time in needless interactions that produce nothing other than utter frustration! If that sounds like you here’s how you can quickly steal back some of your precious time…
If you’ve ever looked in your diary and been mortified that your whole day is mapped out by meetings, you’re probably struggling to feel productive at the end of your day and are desperate to find some time to get ‘the real work’ done!
As a workforce, we’re addicted to meetings and they can be an extremely expensive waste of time.
Having the most meetings in your diary doesn’t win you a badge of honour, and it certainly isn’t a sign that you’re at the top of the popularity list. Often it’s simply an indication that you’re not good at pushing back, don’t spend the time to assess whether you really need to attend, or have fallen into the trap of thinking that the busyness multiple meetings create makes you more valuable to your team or company.
The upshot is that meetings cost money, and every time you say yes to one you’re making an monetary investment of your most valuable commodity – time. Of course, some meetings are vital and produce outcomes way more valuable that the time involved. But we all know that’s not always the case…
Update meetings are a prime example of where time is generally wasted, and where you can steal back precious minutes or hours very easily.
In many corporates, update meetings are a weekly occurrence in a bid to keep teams informed and feeling included. However, if a meeting doesn’t produce an outcome, or have actions to take away, then the purpose of the meeting could easily be covered off in an email or voicemail.
It’s nice to know what other people are up to, but if you’re literally just giving a run down of what happened last week or what’s going on this week, then you can soon find that an ‘update meeting’ has simply morphed into a “look at me, I’m working the hardest” competition between team mates!
Put simply, update meetings are one of the biggest wastes of time when it comes to the meeting family! If you’re running from one update to another, and there’s no purpose other than to keep everyone in the loop, you’re throwing your most valuable asset down the drain.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to communicate, but it’s also critical to ask yourself whether having yet another meeting really is the best most of transport to get that information across? In most cases, the answer’s a resounding no.
So go and take a look at your diary now. How many of your meetings over the next month are updates? And how many of those updates regularly produce a worthwhile outcome that’s a fair trade for the time you spend in them?
Give your diary a good shake up and see what falls out. By creating more time in your diary to focus on the high-end tasks that are critical to your job you’ll become a much more productive and valuable resource to your team, company or business. Wear your productivity with pride, not the number of meetings you went to!
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email email@example.com
Get the best career, productivity and small business coaching tips straight to your inbox every week, plus our eBook 'How To Create A Career You Love' (worth $37.00) free when you subscribe.
We respect your privacy. You can remove yourself from the mailing list at any time.
or skip signup