3 Ways to Know if a Meeting is a Waste of Time 

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3 Ways to Know if a Meeting is a Waste of Time“Not another meeting…didn’t we just have a meeting about this last week?”

“This meeting is a such waste of time!”

Meetings can be helpful tools when it comes to getting things done, but sometimes they can do more harm than good.

In this post I describe three reasons why it may not be wise to hold a meeting.

If you are a meeting organizer and find yourself in this situation, it might just be better to cancel the meeting and/or postpone it for a future date.

The meeting does not have a clearly defined goal.

Meetings are not just about bringing people together in a room or single location; it’s about bringing these people together for a specific purpose or goal.

A meeting’s goal should always be decided in advance.

Be specific about the goal of your meeting as well as the specific outcomes you’d like to achieve from holding the meeting.

This way, you can better decide on the material to cover, the people to invite and the date and time to hold your meeting.

If you can’t clearly describe why it’s important to hold the meeting, or why people should attend, it’s probably not a good idea to put together a meeting.

The meeting is only focused in the past.

While it’s important to review what’s happened in the past during a meeting, it’s even more important to discuss the present and plan for the future. If the focus of a meeting is repeating items covered from a previous meeting or rehashing information that is already well-known, you might want to review your approach.

Is it really necessary to repeat this information? If so, to what specific purpose or goal? Think about what present issues and concerns can and should be addressed during your meeting. Jot down a couple of reasons why holding this meeting will actually help you move toward and solve future projects or issues.

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Your meeting goal(s) can be reached without actually holding a meeting.

Are you holding a meeting just because holding a meeting seems like the right thing to do? You don’t always have to have a meeting in order to reach your goals. For example, if you have some sort of brief and non-urgent announcement to make, it is really necessary to get everyone together for that announcement?

Couldn’t you instead send a quick email announcement, text or broadcast phone message? Think twice before scheduling a meeting and you might just save yourself and any potential meeting attendees a lot of time.

How about you? How do you know if a meeting is a waste of time or if it’s not even important to hold the meeting in the first place? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.