Here’s How to Skip Meetings That Waste Your Time 

How to skip meetings that are wasting your time? You get the subpoena and you know what it is – you’ve been there a million times. The team update meeting will waste your time. You’ll be overwhelmed with other vital work—and the seemingly endless babble of “planning and updating” won’t defeat your goals—but it can crush your soul.

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Some meetings are unavoidable, even if they waste your time

You already know that some meetings, even if they are a colossal waste of time, are unavoidable. These meetings are usually the ones that the boss finds motivating and golden. For that kind of face-to-face contact, all you have to do is soak it up and participate.

You can endure these meetings more easily if you learn to predict when they will occur, which is pretty simple – Monday morning – surprise, surprise. Let’s insert an eerie omen of doom into your busiest and most intense workday. Let’s recap all the things that 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 you know is ineffective, or at the very least draining your productivity and time.

Determine which meetings are essential to attend

The following is a short list of meetings you would like to attend; Remember, meetings have changed permanently since the pandemic and you have more options.

  • The most important meetings are the ones where people make decisions and make final decisions.
  • You can’t make important decisions via email, e.g. B. Start dates or project assignments and options.
  • They want to participate when everyone has their say or voices their concerns. You want to be part of the solution.
  • Remember, you can’t always predict what will be done in a meeting—you don’t want to miss the decisions that affect you.

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You should be present at any meeting that provides an overall direction that you must follow. You want to have a say in these meetings. If the meeting is about start dates, new projects, recommendations from the sales team (which can be accepted), and milestone check-ins – be there.

Join meetings that build connections. If the higher rank is in town – be there. Also, take the time to build company and employee relationships, even in a meeting. Relationship building is an additional but reasonable reason to attend a meeting. The topic may be boring or useless, but if you can improve your connection with a critical contact by spending time with them, that’s not a bad outcome.

Availability of funnel meetings

Inviting individuals to a meeting is fairly easy, and you don’t always have to be available. It’s okay to have your schedule public where someone can request an appointment – but you can be more selective about who has that access. It may be part of your business culture for everyone to disclose their calendars, but you can have a stricter review.

Try spreading your meeting availability across specific days. For example, do you have meeting availability for Wednesday and Thursday. To gain your time and attention. Part of the screening process is having the meeting requester do their “homework.” All but the fanatics are put off by it.

Meeting Management Tactics

Use higher-thinking CEO management tactics on yourself, whether you’re the CEO or not. Then have the requesters answer a few questions before agreeing to participate.

  • What exactly is the topic?
  • Do you have a plan?
  • Do you have a time limit and time frame?
  • Check the date and time and the location.
  • Who else will be there?
  • At the meeting – what do you expect from my presence?

If the requestor is just updating you, quickly break off and ask them to include that information in an email.

Do you still find it difficult to say no?

I’m sure you know that the meeting will last at least an hour – more if you have travel time. But if you can join via Zoom, you can still get other things done, and the hour-long meeting is then capped at one hour without the added extra time of driving.

See if you can make a quick call. When all of the information is covered by your “Meeting Management Tactics” (above), you can express your delight and say, “Oh good, we’ve got all your questions and updates covered.”

Have your excuses ready, but don’t use the same ones every time

  • I will be out of town for the next two weeks – please contact me afterwards.
  • Please contact me after the 15th and we will arrange something.
  • If you have a specific reason, state it. I lead the so-and-so project, but I want to help. How can we streamline my involvement in this project?

After two weeks, the requester often finds that the request has lost its urgency.

You may have to give in and leave

Some people waste a lot of time getting out of work instead of diving in and getting it done. If you spend more than a few minutes walking out of a meeting, that’s way too much time. In this case, it’s easier to make the most of it. Don’t hang around and chat afterwards—get to the meeting and get the job done quickly.

Let your employer or colleague know that your time is limited

You don’t have to be aggressive – but you can let your employer or co-workers know that your time is limited and that they should exercise caution when making demands.

You can ask ahead of time for “quick” information that you will work on later.

Always stay professional and polite when skipping meetings that waste time

Even competent managers and employees could 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, needs to help the team member understand the implications of their hasty invitations to meetings.

Remain professional and polite. You don’t want to be the manager or team member who deals with “an average of 62 hours of work per month” by becoming passive-aggressive about meetings. Unfortunately, some people show up late (don’t do it!), then sit and fiddle with their devices.

Please don’t go for this worst option – as it reinforces a workplace culture where it’s okay to ignore your co-workers and disregard other people’s time.

Be all-in at your meetings.

Arrive at your meetings a few minutes earlier and enjoy the participants. Make a great connection, have fun and help others enjoy the meeting. However, insist that the meeting starts on time – every time, and that the information presented in the session is important. Try to bring something of value to every meeting.

The above methods will help you better navigate, reclaim, and protect your time. As a result, you can get your important work done better instead of rushing from meeting to meeting without benefit.

Credit for selected images: Tima; Pixel; Thanks very much!

The post How to Skip Meetings That Waste Your Time appeared first in Calendar.

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