Sick and tired of long meetings that accomplish little? Wish there was a way to show your manager just how much time is being wasted by his obsession with meetings? Check out a nifty little application from PayScale.com called the Meeting Miser.
The application first asks you to enter your location, then the number of meeting attendees and their job titles. Then it’s time to start the timer and watch as the dollars in wasted salary add up as the seconds tick by.
I punched in the details for a recent sales and marketing meeting that I attended and the cost was $3.10 per minute (not including the consultants in the room, which probably more than doubled that rate).
For employees, meetings continue to suck time after they leave the conference room and return to their desks. Once the meeting’s over, they have to make up for lost work hours and catch up on emails.
That’s not to say there aren’t times when a meeting is justified. Some issues just can’t be resolved effectively via rounds of emails and phone calls. Sometimes you really do need to get everybody in the room and hash things out. But let’s face it, even necessary meetings are usually too long and constantly wander off-topic.
Here’s an idea for the next time you anticipate being trapped in a long and unproductive meeting. Launch the Meeting Miser surreptitiously and make a note of the final dollar tally. Later, share the horrifying figure with your boss in a diplomatic and non-confrontational way (remember — none of this is his fault in any way, of course) and offer to help brainstorm ideas for streamlining meetings (like canceling most of them and keeping the rest focused on more specific agendas).
There’s nothing managers like more than an employee with a keen respect for the bottom line. You might just be able to reduce your meeting load and boost your reputation with the boss at the same time.
More Advice on Meeting Management
7 Ways to Avoid Pointless Meetings from Ben Yoskovitz at Instigator Blog — Great tips on how to make your meetings more effective (and, most imortantly, shorter)
How to Kill Meetings at Lifehack.org — Leo Babauta offers advice on avoiding time-suck meetings.
Meeting Tokens at 43 Folders — Merlin Mann at 43 Folders introduces a brilliant new concept — meeting tokens good for just 15 minutes. On a related note, Merlin and the creative people at The Mule have collaborated on this great t-shirt for members of the anti-meeting movement.