Have you ever measured the number of meetings that you attend in a year? You’ll be surprised to see the staggering hours that you’ve spent sitting through the mind-numbing meetings. The alarming will be the fact about the output and productivity these meetings bring.
As per a survey, in USA, organizations conduct around 3 billion meetings annually, half of which are unnecessary and a sheer waste of time. The trend, more or less is similar, across the countries and organizations.
Managers, everyday, contribute their bit by calling and attending more mundane and unproductive meetings.
Many managers don’t understand the importance of wasting time at work. They slog through the week making every moment count for productivity. Whereas, there are managers who use meetings to waste time; and show the world how much they do while doing so little in meetings.
Here go the 10 ways to waste time in meetings and still be seen as busiest professional attending back-to-back meetings.
Call meeting any time
Call meeting at any time whether you have objective or not. At least you and your team can catch up on office gossips. Send invitations at last minute, which gives participants hardly any time to prepare for the meeting.
Remember, don’t share presentations and meeting related information by email or any other means; or else you’ll miss your purpose of wasting time.
Don’t set duration of meeting
Setting time duration is the last thing you should do. Let the meetings run without any timelines, let the participants vent out their feelings and frustration about every possible happenings in business and office. Believe me, there is no end to topics and discussions when you actually have no topic to discuss.
Call as many people as possible
“The more, the merrier”. Call as many people as possible, irrespective of their requirement or relevance to the meeting. The more the people, the more the commotion, the more will be the waste of time. Make sure the most entertaining jokey in your office attend the meeting. He will help you wasting time by cutting jokes and diverting discussion topics.
The constructive, creative and committed creatures should not be welcomed to attend the meeting. Their behavior might be contagious and can make meetings short and effective.
Don’t send agenda to participants
Don’t send the agenda beforehand. The agenda will give the participants the purpose and objectives. No agenda means – vague objectives, no expectations; and the slow pace of meeting will ensure the extra time that will be wasted.
Don’t set any rules of the meeting
Don’t set any rules at the start of the meeting to ensure the utmost waste of time with a bit of everybody’s contribution. Don’t ask people to switch off their mobiles (the world can crumble if they do so). Don’t ask them to shut their laptops down as they should have every right to check on their mails and play games (they need to remain refreshed and merry during the meeting). Let everybody be free to move in and out of the meeting room at their free will. These are enough of distractions to waste time.
Don’t moderate the meeting
The more the people in the meeting, the more are the chances of deliberations going off the track. Don’t moderate the proceedings. Let every possible topic be discussed. Let the discussions be more unstructured so that the attendees and you waste more time in deliberating unrelated matters.
Don’t set the roles for the meeting
Do not set any roles for the meeting. The respective roles of leader, note keeper, time keeper, recorder etc. are there to make the meetings more efficient. This will let the meeting finish in time with definite output; against your real objective (of wasting time).
Allow for generous breaks
This should be the most interesting part of the meeting. Allow every possible break; tea break, smoke break, lunch break, phone break, break to relax etc. Remember; don’t set any time for the participants to get back to the meeting room. As a true professional bitten by meeting bug, wait for the last person to come back from the break before you start further proceedings.
End the meeting late
Have a single objective to end the meeting late. Keep open sessions where any question in this universe can be discussed. Encourage people to ask as diverse questions as possible. We are in a democratic country, let everybody use their right to speak and waste time.
Make it sure that nobody should go back to their seat to finish the day’s work.
Don’t send minutes of meeting
This is the most critical part of any meeting and a big contributor in adding more meetings to calendar.
Don’t send any minutes of the meeting to participants. In the absence of minutes, people will be bewildered about the outcome and unclear about their responsibility in accomplishing the task. Everything should be over once the meeting is over; till the next meeting.
Call the next meeting to discuss over the fate of last meeting…. another opportunity to waste time.
I hope these tips will help you to waste time with meetings. Every manager knows how the meetings are a big waste of time; still they are busy in calling and attending numerous meetings.
Help yourself to let the people know how much you do by doing so less in meetings… 🙂 🙂