I used to detest meetings.
I considered them a massive waste of time, mainly because they often revolved around taking as much time as possible. There were even some coworkers who loved the time that meetings took up in their day. Maybe it was to look important. Maybe it was because meetings were a form of escape from the day-to-day for them. Maybe it was because they enjoyed hearing what others were doing.
But I did not enjoy meetings at all. In every meeting I could feel the call from my daily task list reminding me of what I could be doing instead. I also felt anxious because there would be even more landing my plate before said meetings were over. The association that I had with meetings was not good – and they weren’t productive as a result.
After leaving the jobs that involved many meetings, I found myself having no meetings for a while. It was awesome. But there were still times when I felt that pull of the task list anyway, despite the fact that I had no meetings to be part of that kept me from the list. It was then that I came to the realization that meetings weren’t necessarily the thing that kept me from my tasks.
My problem with meetings was, more often than not, me.
So I decided to try to solve both of my problems at the same time. A kind of multi-tasking, if you will.
I started to have meetings with myself.
At first, those meetings were where I would do my GTD Weekly Review. But I soon realized that I didn’t cover everything needed during that timeframe, so I separated those time chunks out. I decided that a 30 minute meeting with myself every week would work wonders for me. I’d create an agenda and run my meeting with that agenda in mind. I’d take notes and assemble meetings minutes from those notes. I didn’t do anything else formally. I simply had an agenda and created minutes afterward.
And you know what?
It boosted my overall productivity.
I became more aware of what needed to be done between each meeting. I planned better. I got better at distributing my time between being the guy running the business and the guy working the business.
Heck, everything got better.
So I started to have other meetings. I began to have weekly meetings with my wife to discuss matters of finance, food, and family so that we could dedicate our regular date nights to leisure time rather than household business time. I even began to have work meetings again. With other people. For my own company.
This is a far cry from how I approached meetings just a few years ago.
I’ve definitely become more productive and bolstered my relationship with meetings at the same time by having meetings with me. By catering the meetings to work for someone who abhorred them (me) I’ve turned a largely negative experience into something decidedly positive.
It showed in the results…and it still does.
Want to learn more about what I did to improve my meetings and make them matter more? Then you’ll want to check out Meeting Makeover. I teamed up with meeting facilitation expert John Poelstra to build this 4 module audio program, complete with worksheets, a companion guide, transcripts and more. Meeting Makeover is ideal for small teams but can be scaled up to work with larger teams once you’ve invested time and focus on the frameworks we deliver in the program. Considering it’s estimated that $37 billion dollars per year is wasted in poor meetings, the price we’re charging – just $39 – is a steal. Don’t waste any more time…or money. Click here to get Meeting Makeover today!