A few tips to get your time back:

  • Collaborate async through documentation.
  • End meetings early if you are done discussing the agenda items. Tell people I am giving back your X mins, which always make attendees happy.
  • Send an agenda with the meeting invite. Agenda less meetings lead to people digressing and talking random things, without coming to a decision on the open item for which the meeting was called.
  • 30 min meetings by default.
  • For any meeting the following should be clear: Host who leads the meeting, Decider for the open items, agenda items.
  • If the decider is not there, don’t call a meeting and waste time.
  • If you have a weekly recurring meeting, you can still cancel it if there are no open items to discuss.
  • Don’t call/attend meetings because there is a calendar invite.
  • Remember, most meetings can be an email. And most emails can be a slack message.
  • Be protective of your calendar. Decline meetings where you think you don’t have anything to contribute.
  • If the entire meeting is supposed to be a discussion around a doc, you can just circulate the doc and ask for comments async.
  • For me, meetings are an escalation, when all written communication fail.
  • Put slots on your calendar when you want to get work done without any distraction. Cancel all meeting invites, unless important, if they clash.
  • Keep my Mondays relatively open. Plan for the week so that you have a proactive week than a reactive one.
  • Put most 1-1s on a single day. It is Thursday for me. Rest of the days feel free to do deep work.
  • Following these rules will help you run projects well free up your time.
  • Delegate.
  • Communicating better will help you cut useless meetings.
  • Use frameworks to help people decide over you being part of every decision

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