I used to hate meetings. They seemed like a huge waste of time to me, mainly because they more often than not revolved around taking as much time as possible, so that even trivial things seemed important. What to do if you hate meetings?
Some people shared my opinion, meetings are a waste of time. Some people love talking so much that they just keep on ranting about X, Y or Z. Some coworkers even love how much time meetings take up in their day, it makes them feel important or gives them some sort of escape from the day-to-day.
I did not enjoy meetings. During every meeting I felt the pull of my to-do list and all those unfinished tasks. I constantly reminded myself what I could be doing instead. And, before the meeting was over, I knew there would be even more on my plate. The meetings did not feel productive. I hated meetings.
After switching jobs I had less meetings for a while. It felt great. But still I sometimes felt the pull from my to-do list, reminding me of what I could be doing instead. But there were no meetings keeping me from doing them. It was then that I realised the meetings weren’t the thing that kept me from my tasks.
My problem was, more often than not, me.
As such I started planning meetings with myself. I started planning my Weekly Review (according to Getting Things Done methodology). I soon realized a weekly meeting of an hour with myself was enough for me to do my Weekly Review. I’d create an agenda and run ‘the meeting’ with that agenda in mind.
And the strangest thing is, it boosted my personal productivity.
I was more aware of what needed to be done between meetings. Which resulted in better planning.
I started having more meetings again. A clear agenda helps to let your meetinsg run much smoother. This approach was drastically different from how I approached meetings a couple of months ago.
Nowadays, I am definitely more productive. Having so called meetings with myself helps to stay on track and work on my priorities and highest leverage tasks. Now I feel positive about meetings, I don’t longer hate meetings.