Deep Thoughts Tools

My 3 Favourite Tools To Avoid Pointless Meetings

Look, time is our most precious resource.

It is non-renenwable. So, you should do everything possible to protect it. Do you know the biggest enemy of your time? Meetings. Yes, MEETINGS – I said it.

The working world has trained us to believe that meetings = productivity.

Meetings are a real love/hate situation.

I feel like we default to a meeting way too easily. This seems crazy considering the sheer amount of data that tells us we are throwing precious minutes of our life down the drain.

The folks from Atlassian found that a massive $37 billion a year is the cost of unnecessary meetings in the USA alone. That means the average American wastes about 31 hours a month in unproductive meetings!

As a society, we’ve taken something useful (at one point) and turned it into an ego-driven event to make ourselves feel relevant.

Let’s fight the good fight and use these tools reclaim our time from pointless meetings.

Skeletor running from meetings
My meeting decision system

The only meeting toolkit you’ll ever need

Here are the best tools to do just that 👇

1/ Harvard’s Meeting Cost Calculator

Those Harvard folks are pretty smart.

So, who better to turn to when in our time of need? This meeting calculator speaks in the language that everyone understands – money.

Use this tool to calculate the average cost for your meeting. Both in time and money.

Harvard meeting cost calculator
Money talks

2/ The “Why do you need this meeting?” Decision Tree

If you put in a meeting with me, be prepared for judgement with this decision tree.

I’ve kept this in my ‘managing-self’ toolkit for the last decade courtesy of the folks at Atlassian.

Atlassian meeting decision tree
Less meetings, more doughnut

3/ The “could this have been a DM or email” framework

Most meetings should never have been meetings.

DM’s and emails are here to save us, folks. Plus, it’s never been easier to send videos, voice recordings or emojis to get your point across.

This framework from Grammarly (btw, thanks for making my writing better 😉) is the minimalist tool you need to show wherever you do your work. Also, feel free to shamelessly pollute your team’s Slack channel with this as a reminder.

Grammarly teams meeting decision framework

I’m not the only one constantly questioning the cult like movement of meeting culture.

Dan Toomey and the team from Morning Brew take a cold hard and hilarity filled take on meeting culture today. Filled with data backed research and questionable work scenarios, check out the video to escape being meeting pilled.

Ok, folks. Steal these and reclaim your time. Make meetings count – Your time is finite!

Me after I reject your ego-driven meeting request

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

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