Is That PR Meeting Really Necessary?

To Do List

Imagine being at the office, you are on a roll, crossing items off your to-do list left and right.  You spend some quality time analyzing recent media trend data and are able to find some great insights.  Then you finish putting together your data-driven media recommendations for next quarter, complete with an attractive report that explains how your coverage compares to your competition.  All this accomplished in one day with no interruptions!  Has that ever happened to you?  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess probably not…mainly because of the “no interruptions” part.

I recently viewed a TED Talks video in which Jason Fried explains how most people don’t have hours of uninterrupted time at work to truly work.  He goes on to say that the main reason for interruptions at work are meetings and managers.  This got me thinking and I decided to do a Google search for “meetings waste of time.” The search returned 18,800,000 results, proving the matter of meetings being too long, too often & too unproductive is definitely an issue.  If you have 15 minutes, I encourage you to watch Mr. Fried’s talk, it contains several interesting points.  Of course, if your schedule is too meeting-filled to squeeze in a viewing, here are his 3 final points.

Jason Fried’s 3 Tips For Getting Work Done

1.  He encourages managers to schedule long amounts of non-interrupted time for employee’s to really focus and get some work done.  For example “No Talk Thursday Afternoon”.

Imagine 4 hours of silence so you can really focus.  I like that idea – can I enforce it at home too?  Jason points out that human beings are much more productive and creative when we have long stretches of uninterrupted time.

2. Use e-mail and instant messaging instead of meetings and live discussions so employees can read your message when it is convenient for them.

This idea has its merits for some things that need to be communicated, but there are some discussions that are much easier to do in person.  Sometimes I think communication is clearer when you can see the person’s expression and get immediate feedback.  And what if I need something ASAP? I say use this suggestion when it makes sense.

3.  Cancel a Meeting and See What Happens.

It isn’t plausible  to cancel all meetings.  But it is worth a shot to cancel one and see what happens.  Did more work get done?  Did important information get communicated without a face-to-face meeting?  Were employees able to provide updates in other ways that took less time?  There is an article on the Leadership Strategies website called, Let’s Not Meet, and it is a great resource for determining whether or not a meeting can be cancelled. It also gives ideas on what to do instead of getting together for an in-person meeting.

I’d like to add one final tip of my own that I found here:

4.  Shake Things Up By Conducting a Walking Meeting

I don’t know if you will get more work done, but a walking meeting will certainly be more interesting than sitting around a boardroom table.  Plus, it is a great way to get your blood pumping and break up the monotony of your work day.

PR pros, give me your suggestions about being more efficient at work or how to reduce meeting time and frequency.  I would love to find out what works for your organization.


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