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Want to Be More Productive? Quit Having Meetings

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Conventional wisdom will tell you collaboration is key to organizational success. Following this notion, companies have spent billions of dollars attempting to boost cooperation and communication among employees, investing in telecommunications technologies, open offices, and collaborative workspaces. The result? A whole lot of wasted time. According to research from the University of North Carolina, leaders now spend an average of 23 hours a week in meetings, as opposed to 10 hours a week 50 years ago. But maybe these meetings have driven new innovations and increased productivity? Unfortunately, they have not. Research from Bain and Company found that companies in the U.S. are actually wasting $37 billion each year on unproductive meetings. Additionally, most employees use their phones to remain in constant contact with their colleagues, customers, and managers, making and taking unscheduled calls. Each time this happens, workflows are disrupted, and time must be spent recovering from distraction. The bottom line: What we’re told will make us more productive often has the opposite effect. What if rather than trying to manage the damage from these workplace staples, we started bypassing them altogether? Billionaire Mark Cuban said this is one of the keys to his success. “No meetings or no phone calls unless I’m picking up a check,” he said in a recent interview. “Everything is email.” While this advice sounds strange, it allows Cuban to remain in control of his own schedule and able to be productive without interruption.

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