Do you often have three meetings scheduled one after each other? How do you deal with it? I find such scheduling ineffective and exhausting. It’s a struggle to keep refreshed and open minded when you run from one meeting to another.

Conference Room Meeting
Photo credits: Pexels

I think the problem is in the way how we schedule meetings. If you use Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant, it pretty much pushes you into scheduling meetings in 15, 30, or 60 minute blocks. You are also lucky, if you can find any space which suits everyone. That necessary creates blocks of meetings without any gap in between them.

Such scheduling usually ends up with people running late at start of a meeting, and/or over-running a meeting, so the problem just accumulates. When you have 12 people on a meeting and you need to wait for someone for 5 minutes every day, that’s unbelievable 12.5 wasted man-days every month! That’s another person working on a part-time in your team.

When I was at school, we had 45 minute blocks of lectures separated by 10-15 minutes breaks. I think there is a good reason for it. You can simply start on time, finish even with a slight overrun and still have time to move to another lecture room, have a snack, or use a bathroom.

I would propose to schedule meetings in your company in blocks, where breaks are possible. I’ll be happy to re-use the school model of 45 minutes of a meeting and 15 minutes of a break. It will certainly increase focus of all participants and overall punctuality too. Company culture should emphasize importance of precise start of a meeting and impact of late running meetings on productivity of the whole team.

When you are running over your meeting, be aware there is someone in the room, who should be on an another meeting or on the way to see their family.