Meetings and Other Time Killers

Nick posts about meetings having the potential to be a complete waste of otherwise productive time. The solution that he mentions that some of his coworkers implement to help prevent "meeting overload" is something I have found very successful as well.

I schedule recurring meetings with myself throughout the week so that those time slots are "blocked" from someone else seeing that time in my calendar and scheduling a meeting with me. I am flexible with it and will at times move my scheduled time around to make way for larger meetings where corresponding time schedules is a chore.

But I keep that the exception rather than the rule.

Another things that helps is doing what you can to insure a productive meeting. A good facilitator will post an agenda prior to the meeting and keep things on point through the agenda. If topics come up that need to be addressed but are outside of the agenda, it's put in the "parking lot" which is either an internal Wiki, Sharepoint, or note on the whiteboard, to serve as a reference to schedule another meeting or handle the exchange via email with either the same group or a subset of the group.

I am currently working on a project with a project manager to holds pretty strict to these types of meetings and they are some of the most productive amounts of "scheduled time with other people" that I have ever had. It really goes to show me just how unproductive all the other meetings are as it serves as a bold point of contrast.

tags: productivity, time, meetings