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Pointless – why you should skip needless meetings

Pointless meetings

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Many managers call meetings each week and they can be the bane of work life. They can be unproductive and needless, distracting you from completing complex tasks or progressing with important projects. So many companies let meetings rule the day. If they are done right, they can be truly effective, but there are far too many meetings that waste people’s time. Here we discuss exactly why you should skip that needless meeting.

There’s no agenda
How many times have you attended a meeting that has no purpose? You arrive and everyone is unsure of what will be discussed. When there’s no agenda, there’s no meeting. Many companies don’t set pre-agendas, so that the meeting members develop one organically on what they feel is most important. While this can work on occasions, it’s best to set an agenda in advance, which gives people a real incentive to attend the meeting in the first place. So, if a meeting does not have a clear goal or a list of things to be accomplished, it’ll likely be needless and should be skipped.

You could be getting real work done
Minimising pointless meetings is a sure-fire way to maximise productivity. Just because meetings take place in an office doesn’t mean any real work actually gets done. Most meetings involve a group of people talking about the work, providing updates and keeping the team connected with information. Although this is a great for employee engagement, you aren’t actually working on anything, and it just creates more work to be completed. Meetings can be useful for clarifying a problem, but it does not solve it.

Drain on everyone’s time
When you get invited to a meeting and you’re not sure how best to contribute because there’s no agenda, but you accept the invitation anyway, this same mentality is spread across multiple participants. Meetings take time for everyone that attends, so if there’s six people in a meeting, that means the company has wasted six hours of valuable time. Data has shown that executives spend 40-50% of their working hours in meetings, with nearly 34% of them being a waste of time. This clearly shows that the number of meetings needs to be cut down and only the essential meetings should be held.

No action is taken
The worst meetings are those where there’s no actionable outcome, and those that fail to follow up on any of the key decisions that have been made. Certain meetings can often leave members wondering why they were even there and feeling as though nothing has been accomplished. If a meeting has little objective and there appears to be no desired outcome, it should not be held. A good meeting should solve an important problem and all findings should be summarised, before taking the necessary action.

There is no greater need in the workplace than efficiency. Unnecessary meetings kill productivity and should be eliminated, but we don’t want to get rid of them altogether. They’re important for collaboration, exchanging information and ideas and assessing the performance of the company. Every meeting should be carefully planned out, but whether you’re an executive or a regular employee, always consider how productive you think it will be. Is the meeting really needed? Agendas and preparation is key, with a strong focus on taking action.

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