Talk about old and new worlds colliding!

I’d just started a new gig in the City having taken some time out and having read The 4-Hour Work Week. So was feeling decidedly conflicted about returning to work at an old-school big bank.

One of the first things that struck me was a pavlovian behaviour of scheduling every meeting for an hour.

Why should every meeting need to last 60 minutes? Nobody ever stops ask why.

Everyone spends almost all their ‘work’ time in bloody meetings. And everyone hates it.

So, I decided I’d ask three questions before scheduling any meeting.

  1. Do we really need the meeting? It’s often better to walk over and talk, or pick up the phone.
  2. Who needs to be in the meeting? Circulating minutes is often good enough.
  3. Does the meeting need to be more than 30 minutes long? Almost never did it need to be a whole hour.

Virtually all the meetings I scheduled from that point on were for just 30 minutes. Many others never happened.

I halved the time I spent in meetings – and my attendees loved me!

So next time you need to book a meeting run through these 3 questions. Especially the last one.

Fortunately, I now spend almost all my time in the new world and hardly attend any meetings at all. But when I do… you know the drill.