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Meetings? We Don't Need Them!



I've seen a trend lately: a lot of people feel overburdened by never-ending meetings, which leaves them with little time for their personal or professional lives. It has become the norm to complete functions after hours. This continual rushing in and out of conference rooms got me thinking: What is the real purpose of meetings, and why do we do them?


Let's examine the original meaning of meetings and how, regrettably, this term has changed throughout time.

Fundamentally, meetings are intended to be fruitful cooperative efforts. But from my experience, they frequently end up being time wasters. Imagine more than ten talented people in one room, their potential diminished just by gazing at PowerPoint slides. This results in a tedious and time-consuming cycle of making slides for multiple meetings.


Why then do managers continue to set up meetings?


Is that only for the sake of alignment?


Given that most people agree that meetings are a waste of time, why do we still attend them?


The following are my observations:


1. The Delusion of Importance: Receiving an invitation to a meeting might give one a feeling of importance.


2. Rituals Over Substance: Information exchange and alignment should be facilitated at meetings. But when they start to become one-sided without deep conversations, they break down.


3. Irrelevant Attendance: People are frequently asked to events without any kind of purpose or requirement.


4. Lack of Follow-Through: No actionable outcomes are produced when meeting minutes are missing.


5. Duration vs. Attention: In today's fast-paced world, lengthy meetings don't always align with our limited attention spans.


6. Redundant for Ownership and Traceability: With the introduction of productivity applications, meetings are no longer the main means of allocating tasks or monitoring progress. Rather, they frequently take up more time than they do.


I think it's time for everyone to acknowledge that meetings should only be used for important tasks like brainstorming and alignment. Let's rely on productivity tools for work assignments, tracking, and presentations. We can recover our time and concentrate on the things that really count by doing this.


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