Meeting Overload Is a Fixable Problem
How to delete the non-essential
Francesca is a community manager on the marketing team at Asana, a company that builds work-management software. Always enthusiastic about trying new ways to make her job easier, she volunteered for the company's "Meeting Doomsday" pilot study, where she and eight of her fellow marketing colleagues sought to reduce the amount of time they spent in meetings.
The group started by deleting all small recurring meetings (those with fewer than five attendees) from their calendars for 48 hours. During those 48 hours, they considered the value of each deleted meeting and then repopulated their calendars with the ones that still seemed valuable.
At first, Francesca was a bit skeptical about the pilot because she thought her calendar was already in "top shape." She also worried that, by ridding her calendar of recurring meetings — even for just 48 hours — others would "snatch" precious windows on her and fellow team members' calendars because, "I sit on a globally distributed team, and there are limited time windows when it is acceptable to schedule our team meetings." Despite such qualms, Francesca joined her teammates in clearing their calendars and was pleasantly surprised by the results.
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