According to the research conducted by Atlassian, many professionals have an average of 62 meetings a month. It is a high number. Therefore, among the now innumerable attempts made to limit the time spent for meetings, some companies are implementing new solutions to change this trend.
One of the best tactics at the moment seems to be to leave at least one day a week without attending any meetings – for example “No meeting on Wednesday”.
In addition, Rory Vaden, co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, took another step forward, deciding to schedule meetings only one day a week on Monday. It is a courageous approach and it seems that it fits perfectly with their reality. Whether this solution can work well for your company is certainly an attempt that can be made.
Personally I think the best solution is to find a method that is well balanced with the business in which you are confronted. But we all need to be more aware and be more critical in deciding which meetings to attend, with the aim of reducing the time spent at the meeting as much as possible.
Why establish days without meetings?
There are some benefits that can be drawn from placing a limit on the number of meetings in the office …
- To make everyone understand that the meetings should be deliberately planned only for valid reasons
- To save valuable time during the week, such as Monday morning, when people have to get back to their working pace, or on Friday afternoons, when people are typically planning activities for the following week
- To allow everyone to focus on the most important projects and realize what can be done in the few hours of concentration available
Now, let’s see how to make concrete for you and your company the idea of establishing one day a week without meetings.
Communicate your “meeting-free plan”
While you are alerting those responsible for your decision, be sure to communicate …
- Why do you think it’s a good idea: underline the benefits we’ve listed above, highlighting how it could result in increased business productivity?
- What are your expectations: based on the reality in which you are, can you expect people to understand you? Will it be a whole day? Is your company large? Could each part of it decide how best to adapt to your choice?
- When to review this decision: it is easier for people to try new solutions if they know that “it will not be forever”. How long will this initiative last, before changing it?
Inform your colleagues that there will be exceptions and that you expect from them a fair assessment of this idea. This is not an indissoluble rule. It is a guideline to try to do things differently and freer for the good of the whole organization.
Make the concrete idea for yourself
Now, how can you turn yourself into a good example for your team and really carve out some days without meetings? Begin by analyzing all the meetings in which you participate regularly and to identify which days could be determined as “free”. Now think about which projects you could complete on these special days. It will be easier to commit to work efficiently at these times of the week, having more time available.
Learn to manage people’s expectations and provide your colleagues with alternatives to meet, if they offer you meetings on those days that you have established without meetings on your calendar. If necessary, identify a place to isolate yourself with yourself to better concentrate on your job, perhaps by including the automatic response message of absence from the office in your email. Who do you prefer to use to better enforce and protect this time without meetings you’ve cut out? Your secretary, for example, or your team?
In conclusion, once you have entered the “meeting-free” day of these days, track every week how many hours you have saved and what you have produced in this precious time. Maybe you can use it as a case study, when you try to involve other colleagues in this project. Reviewing how long you have recovered in this way, you can even change if necessary, the way you work.
It could be an uphill road, but, rest assured, that if you follow my advice, having days without meetings can become a reality.
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