Students, how many hours did you spend sitting in meetings last year for your French Club, student body government, yearbook or newspaper staff? Probably a lot. But were all those meetings really necessary?
What would happen if your school instituted a "No more meetings" rule for clubs and organizations? Would your club be mortally wounded? Would the yearbook staff or the school newspaper stop functioning? Probably not. And that's got to make you wonder why you're bothering to have as many meetings as you're having.
Here's an excerpt from a chapter in Rework entitled "Meetings are toxic."
When you think about it, the true cost of meetings is staggering. Let's say you're going to schedule a meeting that lasts one hour, and you invite ten people to attend. That's actually a ten-hour meeting, not a one-hour meeting. You're trading ten hours of productivity for one hour of meeting time…Is it ever OK to trade ten or fifteen hours of productivity for one hour of meeting? Sometimes, maybe. But that's a pretty hefty price tag to pay.
So, what if your French Club, newspaper or yearbook staff cut your yearly number of meetings in half? What if the leadership of those organizations did a better job of communicating, delegating and managing without necessarily requiring everyone to get together? How much more productive would everyone be if they spent what would have been meeting time writing, planning, and working?
I'm not sure how well it would work, but it might be worth trying. Involved students have busier schedules than ever before. And the easiest way to find more hours in the day to relax, have fun, or sleep might be to lighten your meeting load.