Should It Be A Meeting?

Did you know most office workers spend at least 45% of their week in meetings? Have you ever had a moment at work when you’ve thought, “Does this really call for a meeting?”

If you haven’t, you should start. Because if you’ve ever been in a meeting that didn’t go anywhere, you know how much of a waste of time it can be.

Not only can they be a huge time and productivity suck, they’re also expensive! Add up the hourly wage of everyone attending, and multiply that by the amount of hours you spend together, and you’ll get a quick idea of just how much money your company is losing.

Want fewer meetings at work? Learn how to say no. Not all decisions require a meeting in order to drive next steps, and too many meetings have way too many people to be effective.

Should-it-be-a-meeting
Familiarize yourself with this flowchart before scheduling another meeting (source: https://shoulditbeameeting.com)
Think twice before scheduling a meeting

There are few things that will kill a team’s velocity quicker than meeting overload. So before scheduling your next meeting, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  1. Does this decision require input from more than one other person?
  2. Does the group need to talk about this together, at the same time?
  3. Do you have to wait until you can find a mutual time for everyone to discuss later?

Unless you answered yes to all the above questions, you perhaps don’t need to schedule a meeting to achieve your goals. Here are some replacements to consider:

  • Email
  • Chat
  • Quick phone call
  • Brief in-person conversation
  • Shared document
Should you need a meeting, take advice from Jeff Bezos

When it comes to getting more out of business meetings, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has it down. Jeff Bezos knows how to run a meeting. Here’s how he does It. He follows three simple rules.

Jeff-Bezos-and-Amazon

“Two pizza” teams.

To avoid these time-wasting gatherings and ensure that his schedule is only filled with meetings that are worth his time, Bezos has a “two pizza rule” that helps him to banish unnecessary gatherings from his schedule.

“We try to create teams that are no larger than can be fed by two pizzas,” said Bezos. “We call that the two-pizza team rule.” – Jeff Bezos

If you’ve ever been in a meeting with too many people, you can understand the wisdom in this.

No PowerPoint

Bezos actually banned PowerPoint presentations in favor of memos.

“Somebody for the meeting has prepared a six-page…narratively structured memo. It has real sentences, and topic sentences, and verbs, and nouns–it’s not just bullet points.” “The great memos are written and rewritten, shared with colleagues who are asked to improve the work, set aside for a couple of days, and then edited again with a fresh mind. They simply can’t be done in a day or two.” – Jeff Bezos

None of that means anything if the meeting participants don’t prepare, which is what makes the third rule the best one of all.

Begin Meetings with Silence

Bezos starts each meeting by giving team members a half hour to actually read the prepared memos prior to discussing them.

“We read those memos, silently, during the meeting,” “It’s like a study hall. Everybody sits around the table, and we read silently, for usually about half an hour, however long it takes us to read the document. And then we discuss it.”

“Just like high school kids, executives will bluff their way through the meeting, as if they’ve read the memo,” “Because we’re busy. And so, you’ve got to actually carve out the time for the memo to get read–and that’s what the first half hour of the meeting is for. And then everyone has actually read the memo, they’re not just pretending to have read the memo.” -Jeff Bezos

You can imagine why this is so beneficial. How many times have you made it to an important meeting where, despite your best intentions, you’re simply not as prepared as you’d like to be?

Implementing Bezos’ three simple rules could not only help increase productivity but also make meetings less dreadful and boring. And, let’s face it, nobody truly enjoys PowerPoint anyway.

10 Time Wasters

Time is a very precious resource. The fact is that regardless of how well you manage time, at the end of a day, you will still only have had 24 hours. In one year there are still only 8,760 hours. The key is using your time efficiently and eliminating time wasters from your day. Your attitudes and behaviors effect how you use your time.

By substituting what’s not working for you with a more effective behavior and/or attitude you’re on the road to managing your time.

10 Time wasters

1. Waiting for Inspiration

The work of top creatives isn’t dependent upon motivation or creative inspiration, but rather it follows a consistent pattern and routine. It’s the mastering of daily habits that leads to success, not some mythical spark of creative inspiration.

2. Worrying about what people will say

Most of us worry a little too much about what others think of us. We all want to be liked and appreciated for our many talents, our ferocious intelligence, our good nature, our sparkling personality. But when we give over our power to others and allow that their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are.

Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.

Lao Tzu

3. complaining

No one cares to be around a complainer. If you want to start attracting and creating the success you desire, you’ll want to stop complainingComplaining can add to your stress levels and the stress of those around you. The first step is to become aware when you are complaining. One of the techniques I use is: Thought Stopping. This is a technique that many therapists recommend for a variety of issues because it works well. When an undesirable thought enters your head, you literally interrupt it with the mental image of a stop sign or the word “stop!” and move on to a different thought.

4. Trying to please everybody

Trying to please everyone will never bring you the approval and love you seek. You absolutely shouldn’t try to please everyone all the time. It’s just not worth it. Not only will you begin to live your life according to someone else’s standards, but you’ll deplete yourself of any sense of happiness. Saying yes to everyone’s requests means you’re saying no to something else.

5. Comparing yourself

You know you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Yet, that’s often easier said than done. Job title, income, grades, house, and Facebook likes, you’re not alone. I often find my self doing it too. We typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others. The best way to get over this is to become intimately aware of your own successes. You can control one life—yours. But when we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

6. Repeating the same mistakes

We feel driven to repeat mistakes from the past in the hopes that this time the situation will work out differently, but it rarely does. To avoid this repetition failure, I suggest the following: Engage in vigorous self-examination. You will have to identify the behaviors you want to change. Understand how your history influences these behaviors.

7. Perfectionism

If you’re a perfectionist, it could be seriously holding you back. Remember, there is nothing wrong with having high standards, but when these standards are too high, they can really get in the way of your work/school, relationships, and enjoyment of life. Because adults with perfectionism are often very critical of themselves, one of the most effective ways to overcome perfectionism is to replace self-critical or perfectionistic thoughts with more realistic and helpful statements. “It’s okay if some people don’t like me. No one is liked by everyone!”

8. Lack of priorities

The wrong priorities lead to bad decisions. Being under pressure because of a lack of priority makes your priorities even fuzzier, choosing the now over what really matters. Take a close look at how you ACTUALLY  spend your time. What are you doing that is moving the needle that needs to move?

Busy isn’t’ a sign of success, it’s a lack of priority.

Chase Jarvis

9. The fear of failure

Many of us are afraid of failing, at least some of the time. But fear of failure (also called “atychiphobia“) is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals. I do an exercise called “fear-setting” I learned from Tim Ferriss.

We suffer more in our imagination than in reality.

– Seneca

10. Not living your life

I know it’s easy to say we should just stop worrying and live our livesLiving a life where you’re happier and kinder towards yourself is not just about what you can do. But also about what you are already doing. Understand that your life unfolds as your mind perceives it. Cultivate an internal focus of control. Stop existing at the whim of other people, of tragedy, of uncertainty. Develop your personal view and embrace it, let it guide you.