Somehow we erroneously associate productivity with meetings. It is actually the opposite in this new corporate culture.

In general, meetings that do not conform to certain rules are the number one reason for loss of productivity and hence huge cost.

Simple Rule: If you can accomplish your goal without a meeting, then don’t hold a meeting

We live in an “Outlook culture” where people schedule time on your calendar, seemingly at will.

Amazingly, at most companies this is accepted behavior.

Yet, it costs companies thousands of dollars in wasted of time and lost productivity.

The sad part is that most of the time the person who calls for the meeting is looking for a way to vent off or just express themselves. It really has nothing to do with productivity, it is just about speaking aloud. 

The number one rule for meetings for a group less than 6 people: Keep it short. If the meeting exceeds 30 minutes especially for an unscheduled meeting, you have wasted your time and listened to someone who just wants to satisfy their ego

Meeting Spam is Worse Than Email Spam

What is worse than email spam? Meeting spam.

Those meeting requests that you receive seemingly out of thin air that have no true purpose or topic.

At least with email spam you can set up filters. You can simply hit “delete.”

With meeting spam, you have to politely decline. You have to find a reason why you cannot attend.

How do you determine which meetings are unnecessary and likely to reduce productivity ?


  1. Too Many People – If you get more than six people together, the ability to hold a conversation goes downhill quickly. When you see  a meeting request with 8-12 people on it, it usually means that the organizer didn’t know who they should be talking to.
  2. More than one meeting per week especially with the same group.
  3. Same Subject: if you have to call a meeting for the same reason over and over again or discuss the same topics, you apparently are looking to just talk
  4. No Agenda – Everyone would agree that all meetings should have an agenda, yet almost no meetings actually have one. This is a sure-sign tell that the meeting will be a free-for-all.
  5. No Meeting Place – When you get a meeting request that has no meeting location, it usually is a sign that the organizer hasn’t put much thought in the appointment. Inevitably you will get the last-minute updates with the meeting details.
  6. Scheduled for Too Much Time – Avoid meetings that are scheduled for > 1 hour. Two (or three) hour meetings are too long. These are usually “fishing meetings” where the organizer doesn’t know what they want but is hoping that the attendees can figure out the answer for them.
  7. Vague Topic – If I can’t tell what a meeting is about from the invite, then I usually decline. Just as emails should have a descriptive subject line, so should meeting invites. “Catchup” is not an adequate meeting topic.
  8. Called at the Last Minute – Meetings that are called with little notice, usually aren’t meetings. They are usually knee-jerk responses to a problem. They should probably be a conversation between the involved individuals rather than a meeting. This may seem like a fine distinction, but many managers react to small issues by “gathering the entire team.”
  9. Standing Meetings – Ah, the repeating-into-infinity meeting. It is on your calendar from now until the end of time. Yet, each week, people have to ask what is on the agenda. Delete these standing meetings. Meet when you actually have something to decide.
  10. Lunchtime Meetings – Disorganized people love to call lunchtime meetings. They have little regard for other people’s schedules or lunch activities. They figure they aren’t going to enjoy their lunch, so they might as well bring others with them.
  11. Other People’s Work – Some people call meetings with the sole purpose of getting others to do their work. Combine this with #6 and you have a recipe for a dysfunctional and inefficient workplace.
  12. Simple Announcements – Have you ever been to a meeting that was simply to announce something that was already sent out via email? Or to read a new policy or document? Avoid these “reading” sessions. Unless of course, your employees don’t read their email.

Meetings should be designed to save time not to express an opinion, if you hold meetings to just talk or chat i suggest going to the park. Don’t waste time. If you are good at math, you will realize that for evey hour you waste of your time you wasted an hour of everybody’s time who is attending the meeting.


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