How are you dealing with Meet’opia today?

Do you have meetings fatigue? 🤯

Picture this – earlier, and generally we used to have work, with meetings thrown in between….now, for the past couple of years, we have meetings, with work thrown in between!

The whole work-life balance conundrum has been shelved, and now its all about “meetings-work” balance! As if it couldn’t get any worse 😀

Meet the new definition for meet’opia.

meet’opia: a condition when and where, by virtue of having attended too many virtual meetings, one has LOST COUNT of the number of meetings already attended on this topic, DOES NOT REMEMBER the agenda for the said meeting, LOSES SIGHT of what was required in the first place, and STILL JOINS the next instance of the same meeting. 😀

Has the awakening hit yet?

This situation has also gotten notorious gradually, due to the “always ON” routine that the remote working culture has exposed all of us to.

Picture this, in some goddamn survey, more than 35% of employees indicated that they waste 2 to 5 hours every day on meetings and calls, without outcomes. Another very interesting article says 70% of all meetings are a waste of time!^

So how do you optimise and stay productive, amidst all of the ongoing brouhaha, and in the race against time?

Let me help you with a simple “raincheck” question, when you are constantly expected to be “always ON” –

1. Ask yourself – Are you taking a lagging view or a leading one?

Don’t connect lagging with negative and leading with a positive dimension. I am using this to provide a somewhat structured approach in terms of guiding one’s thought process, to contribute effectively.

You could look at applying one of both, or both approaches, as per the context of the discussion:

Lagging is a backward referenced view (based on data already available, and something that has already occurred).

Leading is a future looking view (based on what needs to happen, with or without looking at past data)

This I have seen as by far, the most helpful and structured way to approach a context where having either one of these perspectives help, maybe even sequentially, in providing solutions or taking direction to one.

Coming back to meet’opia, my personal take is,

  • If you can’t wind up a meeting in 15 mins* tops, anything over this is going to be a drag (bar for some regular exceptions)
  • Ensure you start with a level setting of what you want accomplished and end with what actions will take you / team there
  • Choose less invasive options when you can (push based updates versus actual meetings)
  • Finally, if you can’t avoid one, make sure you do not contribute to the 70% statistic. Have this fear inside of you 😁

On a lighter note, will it help if we rebrand “meetings” as

  • endings? (we all want meetings to end at some point or the other)
  • events? (it might put pressure on the organiser / team to have fun)
  • rendezvous? (sounds sinister, with some thrills, may do the trick)

^ I am not a big fan of surveys myself, as these usually have a lot of fine print and are results-biased most of the time. Don’t trust me? Check out the below poll

* 15 mins is literally a “whale” of a time…. Try holding the attention of someone continuously beyond 15 mins 1 sec and upwards. If you do not agree, then reading this may help, where apparently, we humans have lower attention span than goldfish! 🤣

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