Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
How many people out there love meetings? I don’t even have to see you to know that you’re not raising your hand.
Meetings can be, at best, a necessary evil. At worst they can be a soul-sucking drain of your creativity and time.
One of the best ways to protect your productivity from this insidious sapper is to schedule a No Meeting Day.
What Is A No Meeting Day?
A No Meeting Day is exactly what it sounds like…no meetings. That means the calendar is empty. No scheduled meetings, no impromptu meetings, no “let’s just all talk for a minute” friendly chats that are meetings in disguise.
Why No Meeting Days?
Meeting suck up time. Most of the time, people are gathered, and they really have no input to add. They are there “to be informed”.
Think about it…if you have 8 people in a meeting for an hour, and 5 of those people have no real input, but just need to be advised of the decisions, you are wasting 5 man hours. Instead, you could type up the results and email it, and they could get the information in 5 minutes. It’s a big time savings.
Then think about the schedule. You get into work at 8, and there is a meeting at 8:30 to 9:30. Then another meeting at 10. No real in-depth work is going to happen that morning, because the two half-hour breaks between meetings aren’t enough to get into anything.
So most meetings are just pointless time sinks for most of the people there. It cuts up the days terribly.
So a No Meeting Day allows you to avoid those meetings as a rule, and allows people to focus on their work without interruption; it also allows people to avoid pointless time wasting for one day.
How To Accomplish No Meeting Days
If you can get your team on board with this, it is great. You know not to schedule meetings during that day.
Unfortunately, not everyone who wants your time is necessarily on your team.
The way to get around this is to block out your time on your calendar. Block the whole day, and mark it as busy.
Even if you are the only one doing this, block out your time on your calendar. Your boss might want you to limit it to two half-days, but this is still good for getting work done.
What To Do About The Clueless Scheduler
And let’s face it, having a busy schedule is no impediment to someone who schedules a meeting when you are busy. Every organization has one person who will schedule a meeting regardless of what is on other people’s schedules.
So after blocking out time, if someone asks for a meeting, just decline it. It’s that simple. You can propose an alternate time on another day, but don’t give into the temptation to accept the meeting on No Meeting Day.
No Meeting Day must remain true if it is going to work. After all, you give them an inch, they will take a mile.
A No Meeting Day can give you an unbroken stretch of time to get some in-depth work on. Block it out on your calendar, hold it sacred, and watch how much you get done.
Over To The Readers
Have you tried this? What were your results?
Photo by pawrsccouk. Licensed under Creative Commons.