How often have you heard someone say: “Man, I’m in back-to-back meetings all day today!” The sad thing is that it’s often not hyperbole. In corporate America and other circles, people book themselves and others for, what is by any measure, too many meetings where not enough work is getting done. So what’s the solution? How can you avoid the dreaded death-by-meeting?


I have two tips to share with you:

  1. Meet with a clear intention
  2. Recognize the value of meetings

Meetings take up so much time! And they feel like they take up even more time when people aren’t clear on why they’re meeting. If you’re the one organizing a meeting, communicate clearly in the calendar invite what you intend to accomplish and why you’ve invited the people you did.  This article from recommends that you don’t attend a meeting for which you haven’t received an agenda. You may or may not have the choice to follow that recommendation where you work, but certainly the point is a good one to help you and others from spinning your wheels and wasting precious time.


If we accept the premise that we generally have too many meetings, then it would follow logically that fewer meetings would be a good thing. So… if having fewer meetings is good, then having no meetings would be even better, right? Well, no, not really. The key is to figure out when a meeting is the appropriate platform to do the work that needs to get done. This article by Jonathan Nightingale talks about how a work culture could go too far in the direction of “no meetings.” Meetings can bring intangible value that may be tough to articulate in an agenda (e.g., team cohesion, storytelling, context).


As you think about the meetings you have coming up on your calendar (whether you’re leading it or just attending it), ask yourself how clear you are on the intent of each meeting and on the value you expect it to bring.



Guillermo Villar is principal coach with Cambio Coaching. He helps high-achieving individuals and teams communicate with intention to get the business results they want. If you’re interested in working with Guillermo, sign up for a free meeting to explore how he can help.