Pointless meetings most likely consume a lot of your time throughout the workday, leaving you in a bind where you have to take work with you home and finish things after office hours, which, down the road, can lead to a series of health and relationship mishaps.
If you’re overwhelmed by having back-to-back pointless meetings booked on your calendar and feel you don’t have enough time during the workday to do your most important work, then, unfortunately, you’re not alone.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below you’ll find my best strategy to avoid pointless meetings and instead get your most important work done.
Let’s dive in!
Being Busy Is (NOT) a Badge of Honor
It seems we’ve created a business culture where back-to-back meetings and being busy has almost become a badge of honor. As a result, meetings are eating away much of the time you need to do the work you’re supposed to be doing.
You’ve probably tried it more than once. You’re sitting in a meeting, having your thoughts racing on things that you should be doing instead of spending the little time you have attending yet another unproductive meeting.
And it’s not just you feeling that way. According to a Harvard Business Review Survey, leaders themselves think the same way about excessive meeting activities.
- 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
- 65% said meetings keep them from completing their work.
- 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking.
- 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.
I probably don’t have to tell why most meetings are pointless, but it seems most meetings lack a clear objective, agenda, and preparation from participants. But then again, who’s to blame when most of them have back-to-back meetings booked.
Then all these meeting activities you have during the day make you feel obligated to spend time in the evening answering emails and doing other work-related tasks instead of spending time with the family and recharging for the following day.
It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s most likely leaving you with an unfulfilling sense of not being able to deliver your best work and feeling like you’re constantly running behind, having to catch up.
How To Reclaim Time To Do Your Most Essential Work
It can seem all most impossible to find time between all your meeting activities to be doing your most essential work. So how do you start reclaiming time to do the work you need to be doing?
Look At Your Daily Schedule And Calendar
Now, you’ve got a few ways to approach reclaiming time to do your best work instead of spending time in time-consuming meetings. One is looking at your work calendar for times during the week to block off time to do your most focused work. But doing that, you should consider if those times allow you to be at your very best. For example, if the only time you find to do focused work is in the afternoon, that might not be the optimal time for you to perform at your best because all the meetings you’ve attended earlier in the day will have drained your energy levels.
That brings me to the second and more proactive approach to reclaim time to do your best work.
When you want to find time to do your most important work, you will have to consider when you’re most able to think clearly and focus during the day.
So, when do you feel most energetic and clear-headed during the day?
That might seem a bit of a strange question, but it’s essential to take advantage of when your energy levels peak during the day if you want to improve your productivity and do your most important work. For example, if you’re most clear-headed in the morning, then that’s when you should schedule time on your calendar to do your most important tasks. I call those sessions WIN Sprints.
A WIN Sprint is a clearly defined timeslot, ranging from 15 to 90 minutes depending on the task. These WIN sessions are where you do your most focused and uninterrupted work. So, it’s a time where you put away your phone, turn off all notifications, and don’t answer emails. It’s a heads-down, super-efficient and productive session!
Scheduling WIN Sprints during your week is a proactive way to protect and block time to do your most critical assignments and increase productivity significantly. That way, you avoid having your peak productivity timeslots occupied by pointless meetings and instead get your most vital work done. And hopefully, it’ll help decrease the need to work late evenings taking precious time away from family or other essential stress-reducing and revitalizing activities.
Talk to Your Team And Leader
When you’ve figured out when you feel most energetic and clear-headed during the day, then inform your leader and team about wanting to implement WIN Sprints to your weekly schedule to help increase your output and suggest your team to do the same.
If your entire team starts implementing the WIN Productivity Framework, you’ll begin to outperform other teams within your company or organization.
Feel free to book a call to hear more about how The WIN Productivity Framework can help you and your team perform at your best.
Final Thoughts on Avoiding Pointless Meetings
When you start implementing a proactive approach to scheduling and blocking off time in your calendar to focus on your most important tasks, then you’ll quickly see the impact it’ll have on your productivity and the quality of your work.
You will, and I find this to be the most important, get to enjoy your evenings with your family and loved ones again because you won’t have to take work with you home to do after work hours. Not only that, but your stress levels will also decrease, helping you get better quality sleep, you’ll feel more revitalized and energetic.
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