My Time Is Just As Valuable As Yours

Which Is Why We Need Fewer Meetings

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human.

From interrupting people to accidentally offending someone, these things are bound to happen.

The one thing I will never tolerate is when someone disrespects my time.

It’s not that my time is more valuable than anyone else’s; I wholeheartedly believe everyone should value their own time above anything else.

If you stop and think about it, our time is the only nonrenewable resource we have. We can make more money, we can gain new skills, we can even learn to love someone new.

Time is the one thing we spend but will never get back.

Thanks to this realization, I have become much more serious with my time. I try to spend it with people I care about doing things that fulfill me.

Realistically, I know not every single minute of my life will be meaningful and filled with purpose; I will inevitably spend some amount of my time on shallow tasks. My goal is to minimize this time as much as possible.

Thanks to society and conventional ways of thinking, this Herculean undertaking is much easier said than done.

Don’t believe me?

I can’t think of a single greater assault on someone’s time than the illusion of a “productive” meeting. Admittedly, some amount of face-to-face time is necessary. In some rare cases, meetings can even be beneficial.

This tends to be the exception, not the rule.

Think about the last meeting you were in. Was there a concrete agenda that was actionable within a short period of time? Where people engaged? Did it look like this?

Probably not.

I’m going to assume it looked more like this:

At least a few people were late, no one had the foresight to put together a simple agenda, and most attendees remained only partially engaged while checking Facebook or a text thread on their phones.

Unfortunately, this has become the norm.

It’s easy to feel productive when we fill our days with meetings because it appears as if we’re making progress. Instead, most people make it clear they have better things to do. The thing is, no one gives a damn. We’re all so busy wrapped up in our own lives that nothing else seems to matter.

If we are going to make the most of our time, we need to respect each other more. Managers and other decision makers need to respect the time of their employees and vice versa.

If there is a valid reason for holding a meeting, things should be kept focused and on track by implementing a hard stop time and a clear, concise agenda. Furthermore, everyone in the room deserves respect and undivided attention. We can all live without social media for 10–15 minutes.

If more meetings worked like this, we might find compromise in the form of fewer meetings.

I know not everyone has made this realization. For the most part, everyone is too distracted or “too busy” to stop and really think about the value of their time.

Eventually, everyone will come to this conclusion. My only hope is that by then, it won’t be too late.