The Top 10 Reasons Why Meetings Can Be a WASTE of Time

“I think there needs to be a meeting to set an agenda for more meetings about meetings.”— Jonah Goldberg

I believe most meetings are a waste of time. In fact, according to the Wharton Center for Applied Research, the average CEO spends 17 hours per week in meetings, senior executives an average of 23 hours and middle managers 11 hours. And, according to surveys of senior and middle managers, ONLY 56% of these meetings are productive.

The same research found that if managers use meetings appropriately they can reduce the time spent in meetings by at least 25%. Effective management of remaining meetings can reduce the time spent in meetings by another 20%. This translates into HUGE savings.

Here’s the Top 10 Reasons Why Meetings Can Be a Waste of Time:

1. All About Me. In this typical scenario, the Meeting really is a STAGE for the Host to show off and talk all about them. Not productive in any manner. This typically can occur often when a Manager or Executive attends a meeting where they really didn’t need to attend and they proceed to dominate, hijack or monopolize the meeting.

2. Don’t Really Know True Meeting Costs. People rarely stop to calculate the TRUE COSTS of Meetings. Group meetings often drag on because the participants forget that group time is more expensive than individual time. To increase awareness of group meeting costs and thus encourage people to be more prepared and to alter their behavior during the meeting, you need a trackingmechanism that doesn’t only track time but hourly costs of all attendees.

3. Tardy People. Tardy people not only show disrespect but cost real money as everyone else sits around and waits for them to then start the meeting.

4. Inappropriate or Wrong Mix of Attendees. Invite the wrong people. Or, invite too many people that really aren’t needed or required.

5. No Purpose or Agenda. People use a meeting to “define a problem, not solve it”. And, they have no meeting plan (i.e. Agenda) to follow to keep the flow of the meeting moving forward.

6. Get Interrupted. No Meeting Rules are established for the running of a proper meeting, so people are allowed to interrupt and disrupt meeting flow.

7. No Prescreened Questions. Questions are asked that could have been addressed PRIOR to the meeting or the questions “sidetrack” the meeting, eating up valuable time and costing more money.

8. Travel Costs. God forbid you had people actually travel to meetings. Nearly 100% of the time conduct virtual meetings to reduce travel costs.

9. Miscommunication. Poorly conducted meetings by poorly trained Hosts or Meeting Owners result in highly inefficient meetings.

10. Lack of Follow-up. No meeting Notes taken and action items sent out to the Attendees. Then, no follow-up on the Status of the Action Items.