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Cover image for How to (actually) reduce your time spent in meetings
Betsy Nelson for 7pace

Posted on • Updated on

How to (actually) reduce your time spent in meetings

Let's be honest - most meetings are unnecessary at best. We live in a world with some of the best planning and communication tools that have ever existed period. So we have all these next-level communication tools and yet people are still not using them, and would rather sit in a meeting or zoom chat for an hour.

walking out of a window from the meeting

So you (a dev) want to tell people at work (not devs) that meeting after meeting is just not working...

You need some insight into why meetings are not working in the first place. If you are experiencing any of the following, you probably need to advocate for a reduction of meeting time...

  • Meetings don't stay on topic
  • Meetings for meetings sake
  • Meetings drag
  • They include people who don't need to be there
  • You are distract you from real work

You should prove that (yes) you do spend too much time in meetings

To start, you need to prove that you actually are spending way too much time in meetings. What's the best way to do that? Might sound so straight forward, but track it.

If you use Azure DevOps, log time in Timetracker. If you are doing planning on Trello, there are plenty of Power Ups that can do that on the marketplace.

If you keep up with it, you'll notice peaks at points of the year or month. When you look at the monthly time spent in meetings, it's pretty easy to advocate for less meetings when you have those numbers in your pocket.

... but how do you cut down meeting time?

This is the TDLR from here.

  1. Decide if you need a meeting at all
  2. Do the agenda... even if someone says they don't work
  3. Set an end time and stick to it
  4. Have a meeting leader
  5. Don't invite people who don't have to be there
  6. Don't be afraid to decline

Top comments (3)

brandinchiu profile image
Brandin Chiu

I suggest visible and exaggerated eye rolls for people who interject that agendas don't work for meetings.

Agendas are essential to running effective meetings.

tabsyy profile image
Betsy Nelson

I'm utterly surprised by people that are so egotistical they think that they can organize things better than a organizational concept that has been going on since... well idk when people started using agendas but it's BEEN AWHILE.

brandinchiu profile image
Brandin Chiu

I'm open to the idea that ya know, things change, and maybe agendas aren't actually helpful and it's all anecdotal.

What bothers me is the disgust at the idea. It's active pursuit of ignorance as if even attempting to use an organizational device makes them lesser.

I will never understand it.