Many a times, we are pulled into 60 minute meetings that hardly require 5 minutes of our contribution or gives us information that could be obtained as meeting notes equally effectively. We can try to save ourselves from such a meeting and if struck do some productive tasks during that time.
How to avoid such meetings?
- Request the person who invited for meeting to provide agenda before the meeting.
- If you are unsure about your contribution or why you are required, then ask. If you do not need to attend a meeting then decline.
- If your contribution is minimum and it will be sufficient if you can contribute before the meeting then offer to do so. Similarly, if you are invited to give you information then you may get meeting minutes or talk to one of your trusted meeting participant.
- Offer to be available on phone or instant messaging and offer to show up in the meeting room, if requested during meeting.
- If possible, attend meeting virtually – bridge call, webex etc.
What to do when struck?
- Perform tasks that do not require a good concentration
- Plan your to-do items or check the status of tasks for your day
- Read your emails
- Perform those tasks that do not require a good concentration and yet do not disturb other participants in the meeting.
- Excuse yourself – bringing mobile to your ear implies it’s an urgent phone call and can be a good excuse. You can offer to be available on phone or instant messaging and offer to show up again when required.
- Attend meeting to take a break. In this case, don’t take any equipment (laptop, notebook etc.) and utilize this time to relax.
How do you avoid such unproductive meetings and what do you do when you get struck in such meetings?