Decide If the Meeting With These Four Questions Is Worth It.

Not every meeting has to be a meeting. Some could be just emails or even a quick message. Before making an appointment (or attending!), Ask yourself these four questions to determine if it is truly worth your time.

The Harvard Business Review business blog knows a thing or two about unnecessary meetings. While meetings seem productive because everyone in the same room is discussing a project, they essentially get in the way of doing anything. So HBR suggests asking the following questions before calling a meeting:

  1. Have I thought about this situation?
  2. Do I need outside input to make progress?
  3. Does moving forward require real-time conversation?
  4. Is a personal meeting necessary for this?

If you answer “No” to any of these questions, then other actions can be taken first. If you didn’t think you would give yourself time to process the situation, schedule a block of time for brainstorming before moving on to someone else’s. If you are not communicating in real time, try email. Meetings are a useful tool when you really need them, but if you’re just going to spend an hour talking about things that you can easily answer on your own or with an instant message, your productivity will be at a loss.

Of course, not every meeting is necessarily your choice. If your boss has made an appointment and you’re not sure if it really matters, ask if there is an alternative way to express your opinion. You may find that your boss receives an email from you as well as if you sat in a room for an hour.

Do you really need to hold this meeting? | HBR over 99u

Photo by Jim Larrison .


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