Strategies to avoid unproductive meeting invites!

Do you receive many meeting invites? Do you find that your calendar is full most of the time? Do you have to go to meetings unprepared? Are you multitasking – attending meeting, checking emails and SMS at the same time?


Well, you may think that you are making best use of your ‘limited’ time. However, it may not be the case. It is likely that you are taking random decisions. You may have increasing amount of Work In Progress (WIP). At the end of day, it is incurring cost to business (Waste).

Following are few strategies that will help you to be more productive:

  1. Delegate: Sounds obvious, but most of us do not do it well. Michael Hyatt explains it here.
  2. Draw lines and let everyone know: Assign clear responsibilities for your team members and make it public. Further, set criteria to manage by exception.
  3. Set Themes: For recurring meetings, try to align similar meetings in sequence or on same day. This will help you to maintain momentum and be more productive.
  4. Meeting structure: Ensure that invitee follows appropriate meeting structure. If meeting is for status update than quick Stand-up is better than formal meeting. Similarly, if it is more effective to meet over Lync or on your desk then do so to save time.
  5. Book time for yourself: Before others get it, book time for yourself in calendar. It is important because there are tasks that need your dedicated attention.
  6. Learn saying ‘No’:  If you think, there is no need for you to attend meeting then politely say ‘No’.

Here is a question for you!

What strategies do you apply to make best use of your valuable time? I would love to hear from you!


  1. Hi, Sarabpreet,

    My first response is “Yeah, that’s fine in a big company. What about in small companies?”

    I have tried delegating, but in a small company, there’s rarely anyone to delegate to, as everyone’s plates are full. Also, I do practice management by exception, but in a small company, we have a very flat management structure anyway. We do try to avoid meetings unless they are absolutely necessary. Also, one of the advantages of being in a small company is that communication can be very rapid and direct.

    Bottom line for me is this: I work in a small company. Everybody “wears many hats” all the time. All of us have very full schedules. The most effective time saver for all of us is to prioritize quickly (don’t defer setting priorities) and correctly (know what’s important and what’s not). We also have to be flexible, because in our company (a small, specialty chemical manufacturer) deadlines and priorities change daily, sometimes hourly.

    Thanks for the post, though. It’s good to be forced to think about these things and to reconsider what I think I already know about time management.


    Liked by 1 person

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