Too Many Meetings

Not sure about you, but everywhere we turn these days, it seems that everyone when asked how they are says some version of “OMG!  I am so busy!” 

And when you drill down a bit deeper and ask about how work is going the overwhelming answer is some version of:

“OMG, I’m dying with all of the meetings that I have.”

”If I have one more Zoom meeting, I’m going to die.”

”I am so busy with meetings, that I don’t have time to do my actual work!”

Why is this happening?

Well, meetings are not new.  But when COVID hit, and we all bounced from being in the office to working from our homes, we need to be more connected than ever.  And 18 months later, with some of us heading back to the office, some of us still at home, or splitting time between our office and homes, the desire to connect is still at an all time high.

But, not done right, it can take a pretty heavy toll on our physical well being (think sore backs, necks, strained eyes and ears), our stress levels (think back to back meetings, no time for heads down work, mental exhaustion) and definitely on our productivity.

What Can I Do?

The great news is that with a few simple tweaks, you can dramatically improve your situation and take back control of your calendar.

  1. Talk with your team.  It’s pretty safe to say that you are not alone with your meeting overwhelm.  In light of that, make it a point to talk with your team, see how they are faring and then decide which meetings are essential, how often they need to be, and what can be done to help cut down on everyone’s meeting calendars.
  2. Block out heads-down time. The problem with meetings is twofold.  The time it takes to be in the meetings inherently conflicts with your ability to do your work, and to compound things, the meetings themselves often generate even more work to do.  If you are not careful, this can quickly spiral out of control.   Block off times on your calendar for you to do heads-down work and set firm boundaries to let your team know that these blocks are not available for meetings.
  3. Meeting-free days. Yes, you read that correctly.  Giving yourself, your team, and even your company, the gift of at least one meeting free day a week, (more if you can) is a game changer.  Just do it and see what happens, its easier than you think!
  4. Shorten your meetings.  The biggest issue with so many meetings, is scheduling them back to back, and allowing more time than necessary.
  5. Limit the number of meetings.  A big question for you to ask yourself, as well as discuss with your team, is what warrants a meeting, and what can be accomplished without a meeting.  For reoccuring meetings, you can also re-examine the frequency as well as length of time for these meetings.

Hopefully this helps!

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