This is a point I’ve now seen made in two separate places so I thought I’d mention it here.
A meeting that lasts an hour doesn’t take up only an hour. It sucks up the potential productivity of 1 hour for every person attending the meeting.
If there’s 10 people attending, then that’s 10 hours.
This has made me question the need for more than a few meetings since I first read it in Rework, a book written by the guys behind 37 Signals. It’s the best and most disciplined (ie shortest) ideas book I’ve read this year. My favourite slogans? ‘Meetings are toxic’, and ‘planning is guessing’ have to be up there.
And then I heard the same idea in Jason Fried’s TED talk from earlier this month. Discover why working is like sleeping, and why places of work are the worst places for work. Well worth a watch.