I hate meetings. I have no problem admitting that. There is something about organizing your staff or team of people together to talk about where you all are that just drains the life out of me. And I’m aware that there are meetings that are necessary, even crucial for business. Meet-n-Greet meetings — meeting prospect clients for the first time, hiring a new staff member or independent contractor, getting word and advice back from that Venture Capitalist — those are pretty important. And let’s not forget closing a deal and negotiations, I’ll meet for those too. But what about the other mindless meetings we think we need to have? With technology being available at the stroke or swipe of a finger, why are we still meeting (in person)?
Every time I’m part of a meeting, I think about all the other things I could be doing instead. So right off the bat, I’m already distracted and unfocused because I’m thinking about how else I could be spending my time. I’m also brave enough to admit that my attention span is short*. The first 30 minutes of any meeting, I’m hanging on every word and taking notes. Once we hit the 45-minute mark, okay… my thoughts begin to wander off, but I rein in back in. God forbid we go over an hour ’cause then and I’m just scribbling whatever on whatever, updating my calendar and making a shopping list for the grocery store. And the sad truth is, that happens more often that not.
I understand some people feel the need to meet, but what for? Are your meetings equal to your efforts when you’re working? Or do you think they are? Think about what you could actually being doing instead of having that meeting. Save your meetings for occasions like:
- When a VC enters or exits the picture
- Your company is changing structures or size
- A last-minute/ urgent change where all hands on board are needed (but even this can be done via phone)
- Titles and positions are changing
- Your company is facing some kind of lawsuit or liability issue
When you feel the need to reach out and touch someone who doesn’t apply to the aforementioned items, consider all the hand-held ways you do so with:
- Gchat – Whether you want to voice or video your conversations, simpler and free (or any instant messaging app)
- Skype – Although, I personally don’t like their lock-in-you-policy, you can make WiFi calls and connect to whomever
- Texting – A quick and shorthand way to get your message across instantaneously
- Emails – I absolutely love emails because it allows whomever to send whatever they need to you with whatever attachments needed. In other words, emails =GOOD!
- Calling – Nothing is easier than picking the phone and just saying what you need to say
- Virtual Meeting Sites – Like GoToMeeting that can accommodate larger groups of people and invite guests (like webinars)
Hold off on “need to have” meetings for those dire situations where it calls for in person interaction. Otherwise, befriend your smart phone, tablet or laptop. These are on-the-go devices that allow you to keep in touch in real-time rather than waiting for those weekly/monthly meetings to say what you have to say. Think of the time you’ll save on travel, location, snacks and goodies if you kept your meetings to a minimum. Not to mention, you won’t have people, like myself, spacing out. Think about what could get done in the same amount of time you spend talking about getting stuff done. This is when working smart comes into play.
(*I hang in there a longer than an hour for meetings, in case you were wondering. But there are those moments I want to nod off. I know you know what I’m talking about!)
- Daily Meetings Are Great But You Should Never Have Them (wellbredgrapefruit.com)
- Why Are We Meeting Again? (sueedworthy.ca)
- Stop Going to So Many Meetings (business.time.com)