Don’t meet your life away

meeting schedule

Are meetings the bane of your existence? Recently, Shopify introduced a new policy that cancels all recurring meetings with more than two people in an effort to give employees time back in their day so they can actually do work.

The company has instituted a six-hour window on Thursdays for large meetings, and they’re encouraging employees to decline other meetings, and remove themselves from large internal chat groups.

Meeting mania has been sweeping workplaces for years, and only became worse during the pandemic when Zoom became a verb that became synonymous with fatigue and eye strain.

In my old job, I probably spent anywhere from 3-4 hours a day in meetings, and my meeting schedule was considered light compared to most other managers.

In my new bridge retirement job, I have very few meetings. I just work. What a novel concept.

Here are some tips on how you can reduce the number of meetings in your work day and increase your job satisfaction:

  • Book shorter meeting times: try 15-minute touch bases or half-hour meetings instead of a full hour
  • List all the meetings where you’re just mainly listening in and not really participating. Chances are, you don’t need to be there. Decline and clear your schedule.
  • Have 5 or 6 items you need to ask your boss? Book one 15-minute touch base or save your questions up for a regular weekly meeting
  • Call or video chat people. This is an interesting one given nobody uses the phone anymore, and some people are reluctant to video chat you if you don’t have a time booked on your calendar, but often a quick 5-minute chat can get you the answers you need without another meeting filling up your calendar
  • Set an ideal work to meeting ratio, then stick to it. This will be highly role dependent. The ratio for a web developer for example may be 10:1 (so in a 40 hour work week, 36 hours of work to 4 hours of meeting) whereas for a Vice-President, it may be more like 4:6 (16 hours of work to 24 hours of meetings a week)

This week’s #HappyAct is to try working for a change, instead of meeting your life away.