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.
But, how do you determine which meetings are unnecessary and likely to be a waste of time and resources?
Here are 10 Easy Ways to Spot Unnecessary and Wasteful Meetings:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Clear Out Those Unneeded Meetings
Take a hard look at your calendar for this week.
Clear out the unneeded appointments. Get out of the standing meetings. Decline meetings that aren’t necessary.
Rather, spend the time doing your work.
Spend it talking one-on-one with your team.
Or better yet, spend the time actually collaborating with your fellow employees.