Having too many meetings can leave you with no time to do actual work. Here are 10 ways to regain your time, skip some of the meetings, and optimize your productivity:
1) Realize, that you are the master of your time — as much as people cancel/reschedule their meeting with you, you can do the same for them. That is for any reason, including having too many meetings a day. As per the picture, you need the time to write that PRD!
2) Look for the meeting that brings as much value as possible to your output — If you will do better by working on a backlog or preparing for a different meeting, say team refinement, do it! Meetings do not have a condition-free highest priority in your schedule.
3) Book “focus time” in your calendar to prevent new meetings — But change the slot and don’t call it “focus time”. Otherwise, expect an email/meeting with the words: “I saw focus time in your calendar and my thing is really important, so please accept my meeting”.
4) If you want to do something in peace and focus, a home office is the way to go — people walking up to you and talking to you is also a meeting :) Of course, not all homes are alike, and if your family is attention-demanding, working in a meeting room or Starbucks is your next best thing!
5) Monitor your energy levels, mental health, and output — too many meetings can be as much of a problem as an aggressive coworker or mobbing boss when it comes to long-term stress. If you have problems with that, there is no shame in talking about it with your manager.
6) Book lunches and breaks in your calendar — people will be hesitant to put a meeting when a slot is already occupied. You on the other hand need your energy to function.
7) Realize your importance — While you are often important to the decision process, very often you need the bottom line to reach a verdict. Often you don’t need to be there for technical discussion and it’s ok to say so!
8) If a meeting could have been an email, say it — Some people think a meeting is the most effective way to achieve their goal. If you don’t teach them otherwise, how will they learn?