How much time do you spend on average in meetings every week? 1 hour/day? 20 hours/week? Why are you meeting? Do you always have a clear agenda? Why not? Are you prepared for every meeting? And is every meeting really necessary? Who else is invited? Are you contributing value to every meeting?

I am convinced that a lot meetings should not take place. This lifehack is about how to “unmeet”, cancel meetings, find shortcuts to get to the same results, etc. In most cases, the only reason for you to have a meeting is to generate a certain result. But is a meeting the best way to get to this result? Aha!

Choose not to meet (so often)!

Every meeting you don’t have saves you time, energy and credibility. Make sure that a meeting is the best way to achieve what you need to do and that the right people are present. Consider making a phone call or sending an email instead. People are more likely to attend your meetings when they know that they are important and that they can contribute.

So, if you are invited to a meeting, make sure you get an agenda upfront. If you don’t, cancel the meeting, or at least your attendance. Who says you can’t do that? If they don’t let you in on what the meeting is about, how do they expect you to know that their meeting has enough priority for you? And if they really want you, then they’ll tell you the agenda. How hard can it be to mail it to you?

In some cases, a meeting is overcrowded. Why? Every important person is invited and shows up because they think they are important, but who is really giving value or getting value? Only those people should be invited! If you can’t get the right people to your meeting then postpone it! Resist the urge to invite people who might be interested. Provide them with minutes afterwards…

You might have some challenges along the way, but I am sure that people will respect you more if you are more strict on attending meetings or organising ones yourself.

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck
Life Hacker


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