If I asked you “Why do you hate meetings?”, I bet I could guess your answer (note that I didn’t even bother to ask IF you hate meetings).
You’re going to say something like “Because they’re long and boring and nothing ever gets done.”
Am I right? I was right. If I wasn’t, come on, I must have been at least close.
I hate wasted time. It’s one of my biggest things about running a company. Every minute, every second counts when you’re hustling like I do. And I make every second count. So. If this is the problem, then how do we fix it? How can meetings be more productive, waste less time, and be more valuable for the people in it?
My answer has nothing to do with the agenda, the attendees, or the time of day you have a meeting.
My answer to the question?
Cut all meetings in half.
And yep. I mean time. Make your meeting half the amount of time that you originally thought it should be, and things will go much better for you. Heck, even cut the meeting in half after you set it up. The amount of bull crap that goes on in a meeting, the set up, the agenda, is insane to me. Recently I hired a couple of very senior executives at VaynerMedia, three or four SVPs. Each of them have come up to me and said “Wow, your meetings are so weird”, because they’re five minutes, or ten, or fifteen.
Why are they that short? Because most of it doesn’t matter. It. Does. Not. Matter.
If you give people a ten pound bag, they are going to fill it with ten pounds of crap. If you give them a fifteen pound bag, it’s the same. Fifteen pounds of crap. They will never overfill the bag. What I mean by that is this. If I have an hour meeting with my team, we will fit everything we need into the hour. We’ll banter a bit and talk about a few other things we didn’t plan on talking about. But if we cut that same meeting to thirty minutes, we’ll still accomplish everything that needs to be done, hands down. And we’ll have saved thirty minutes, which is really what this is all about, right? Valuing time better and differently.
So execute on this. Cut meetings in half. Create a mandate. Set standards. Be an example. Let your leadership learn by osmosis by having shorter meetings with them. Use restrictions even if you have (or want) to. I promise you won’t be sorry. Try it out, then go talk to me on Twitter and tell me if it worked. I’m serious. ☺
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