4 Tips to Avoid Getting Pulled Into Pointless Meetings

A woman suffers through a boring meeting
Image via iStock.

If you are like most people, you probably do not get excited when you learn a meeting is scheduled at work. That’s because they frequently relay information that could have been conveyed via more expedient methods.

Pulling everyone off their assignments is not worth it unless you legitimately need everyone’s input.

So The Wall Street Journal recently asked, how can you stop getting pulled into pointless meetings that waste hours each week?

Get Others on Board

It could be a case of nobody wanting to be the first one to speak up and say that the meetings are a hassle. It’s easy to fall into going with the flow if nobody proposes anything different.

Start some conversations with others to find out their position, and if you have some support, you can publicly suggest giving everyone a break from the meetings.

Ask the Organizer Why They Need You

If everything is a meeting then you could be getting dragged into so many conversations that don’t even pertain to you. Try pointing this out to the organizer in a nonconfrontational way.

Ask them if they truly need you specifically there for input. Inform them you have urgent projects you need to get done and can’t spare time unless absolutely necessary.

Tell the Truth

This one can be risky depending on how precarious positions in the company tend to be. But if you have a good relationship with the office where honesty is welcome, try politely explaining that you feel like the meetings have gotten overly frequent and you feel it would be beneficial to dial them back.

Lead the Change

If you are the manager of the office, then you have the power to make some changes yourself. Some of your higher-level staff may have the authority to make their own meetings, but if you feel they have gotten out of hand, step in.

Maybe declare the last day of the week cannot have any meetings booked so everyone has a chance to focus on getting their assignments done for the week.

It can be difficult but necessary to curtail meetings, especially in a virtual office. They are not inherently bad but used without moderation, meetings can be a big drain on productivity.

For more on these methods that you can try to reclaim your work day from meetings, read the Wall Street Journal story here.


Bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings are plaguing the world’s businesses — and making workers miserable. David Grady has some ideas on how to stop it.


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