The New York Times recently tore into the bane of many people’s existence — the (office) meeting. In 2009 Paul Graham (of Y Combinator-fame) wrote an essay about Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule. A manager at Google picked up the topic a few months ago and wrote an open letter to his team (and the world at large).
The overarching message: Meetings are broken.
(5) No Meetings. Meetings come in only two forms: Standing or social. If it’s social, it’s over breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner or drinks. If not — don’t sit down.
How many meetings have you been to recently which you genuinely enjoyed and, probably more importantly, which were outcome-producing, problem-solving, directed and just the right time? I bet you the number is small to zero.
Try to get out of meeting hell by doing one of two things: If it’s business, have as few people as possible in the meeting, have them be well prepared, cut out the fluff and don’t sit down. That being said — there is a need for social interaction, nurturing relationships and knotting the human fabric. In which case make this clear from the get-go; get some food and/or drinks and kick back.
Time is precious.