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Why Meetings Are A Waste of Time and How To Fix Them

Why Meetings Are A Waste of Time and How To Fix Them
Carly Jacobs

eetings are generally an enormous waste of time. Unfortunately for most people they’re totally unavoidable – corporate environments, public and private sectors and schools are the biggest culprits of time wasting meetings. I loathe them. One of the main reasons why I work for myself is so I never have to have meetings unless I want to. This week I chatted to lots of corporate types and I found out that most of them actually like and require meetings but they have a criteria for meetings before they’ll accept them. So not everyone thinks meetings are a waste of time.

Meetings Are A Waste of Time

This was quite surprising to me because back when I worked full time in an office environment, meetings were always called by people who didn’t know what they were doing, didn’t have enough work to do and wanted to feel productive. This was ten years ago and pre-GFC when no one had to justify their existence to stay employed so I was delighted to hear that the attitude towards meetings has change and rigorous structures have been put in place.

This week Kelly and I are talking about meetings – how to avoid them and how to fix them – in this week’s episode of Straight and Curly. You can listen to it on your mobile or listen to it right here.

Stacey and I are back this week on Sweet Teen Club talking about Buffy The Movie. Neither of us watched the TV show. We shall hang our heads in 90s shame. But we both quite loved the movie so let’s talk about that instead.

Also I did a presentation last week about podcasting and went through some of my stats for the shows and did you know that 17% of people who listen to Straight and Curly do it from their desktops? I love that. I just assumed everyone was using their smartphones. I love the idea of people working and listening to my podcasts from their computers. It tickles me pink it does!

Also I’d love some feedback if you’ve been listening

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Where do you listen? What topics would you like covered? Do you have a favourite episode?


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P.P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff. And also Beyonce.


  1. Missy D 8 years ago

    I usually listen on my way to work.

    Totally agree with this episode! I’m lucky to have a manager who always wants meetings to be valuable and has taught us to question constant meeting invites. If someone sends me a meeting invite with minimal information, before accepting I go back to them asking them what the meeting is for and what do they need out of me – this way I can decide then and there if I’m even the right person to go to the meeting.

    Likewise, if I send out a meeting invite, I keep it to 30 minutes, I set a meaningful meeting title and I tell everyone exactly what I need them to contribute to the meeting. Then also have an agenda (and I’m a nasty time and scope nazi) and make sure everyone knows their action items at the end.

    Episodes I quite liked were 5 Cups of Veggies and To Do Lists (I now use Kanban Flow and really love it – it’s help me a lot manage all my tasks on a massive project I’m working on right now).

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      Oh wow it looks like you’ve been listening pretty hard core – that’s so lovely of you! Especially as I know you’ve been reading Smaggle for years. It’s so nice to know it’s a smooth-ish transition for existing readers.

      I love the crowding of the veggies. I’m doing it hardcore at the moment because I went overboard on wine on the weekend. It’s such a good detox without being a detox.

      Action items are huge! Back when I worked in an office I couldn’t believe how many meetings ended without an action item.

  2. Vehs 8 years ago

    I mostly listen to straight and curly on the way to work and other shows on the way home, exercising and walking dogs.

    Had to laugh when you guys were saying that a stand up meeting sounded very silicon valley as I think I went to my first stand up in 2008 in a public service job. They were a great way to address hot issues first thing in the morning.

  3. Lauren Gleeson 8 years ago

    I’d love to be able to listen to podcasts while I do work, but I find if I’m not listening intently I get distracted from either my work or the podcast. I love to listen on the train and when I’m cleaning or cooking! I absolutely hate meetings. I find for group projects people feel like we need constant meetings to stay on track, but I find it ends up distracting me from doing actual work.

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