This is what a world without meetings looks like…

- May 11, 2020 2 MIN READ

I’ve been liking my fair share of exasperated posts about how COVID has convinced us that we need less meetings. But on closer reflection – are we really living without meetings? I say we’re not. It feels more true to say we’re just transferring all our bad meeting habits to Zoom instead.

And for some reason the fact that these bad habits are now online make them easier to see. 

Like most faux pas, I guess. 

A better use of our time in #iso would be to change things up completely. 

We can’t do away with meetings.  Even the most committed and introverted sole trader in our Flying Solo community has to front up to a meeting at some point. It’s just part of living in the world and having a job. 

But we can make them SO much better.

Huffington Post founder, Arianna Huffington recently shared her meeting wish-list in a recent Thrive newsletter. As usual, her ideas are excellent. 

Specifically her encouragement to pre-send any meeting decks (slides/powerpoint) at least 24 hours ahead of a meeting? Then encourage everyone to read it and send you questions ahead of your actual meeting. 

This is a clear ‘win’ on two fronts: 

1.Your actual meeting is shorter because it’s more focussed

2. Your meeting gets faster results because… see #1

Time Management expert Kate Christie says the antidote to excess meeting is to take back control. If meetings are taking over your life, she advises the following 5 actions: 

  1. Don’t invite (or be) a spectator. Meetings are for decision makers. If that is not you, politely decline.
  2. Always have an agenda – the quickest way to waste time is a meeting without a list of topics for discussion. A short agenda is a good one – it makes for a quick meeting.
  3. Keep minuting simple and action based: What (what is the action?); When (when is the action due?); Who (Who will take the action?)
  4. Shake it up – standing meetings will result in a  quick meeting; walking meetings allow you to get some exercise and fresh air at the same time; and online meetings avoid the commute and save you loads of time
  5. Have a meeting budget: allocate a maximum amount of time per week to internal (non revenue generating) meetings and stick to it. If you need to exceed it, then remove something else from the meeting budget that week.

My personal favourite is the walking meeting, something I have opted to do SO much more since COVID. (thanks mostly to my dodgy home internet connection) but it’s been good all the same. 

What change are you going to make?