Open Outlook or Google Calendar and schedule a new appointment.
The default duration is 60 minutes.
The most common length for a business meeting is one hour.
This, however, is incorrect.
It’s not wrong sometimes; it’s wrong all the time.
We must terminate the sixty-minute meeting.
This is why.
We meet to share information, collaborate, make decisions, and help us execute our mission.
But a 60-minute meeting actually hurts our execution.
If you have only one meeting per day, almost nothing you’re about to read is relevant.
But the norm for many people is frequent, even back-to-back 60-minute meetings.
This is the context in which execution is lost.
The first failure of execution relates to how we enter the meeting.
I’m not talking about joining a Zoom call too late.
I will discuss mindset and attention span.
Before we approach a meeting, do we know why we are there, what choices we want to make, and what information, data, or criteria we require?
Intention is an essential ingredient in making good and timely decisions, which drive execution.
If you are in consecutive meetings, there is no time to prepare, so execution suffers.
The second execution failure occurs for the same reason, but at the tail end.
You’ve consented to things.
New measures will be taken.
Follow-up is allocated.
Communication is a prerequisite.
As you conclude, however, everyone is already late for the next meeting.
Tasks aren’t recorded, emails aren’t delivered, and spreadsheets aren’t updated; thus, execution falters immediately.
The waste that comes from back-to-back 60-minute sessions is so obvious that it is often used as a running joke.
This waste manifests itself in three ways.
Secondly, there is the waste produced by the rolling process.
The meeting gets off to a rolling start when it begins, but no significant business is conducted since not everyone is there.
We spend time in the belief that we are contributing value, yet we avoid discussing anything vital so that no one will miss it.
This is simply the waste caused by over processing or performing work that is unnecessary for the needed value.
Reuse is the second form of waste.
This occurs when we begin the agenda but then more participants arrive.
We feel compelled to discuss what has occurred previously, or people ask, “What did I miss?” or inquire about something that has been completed.
We are currently recapping the meeting.
This is the waste caused by flaws.
The third type of waste is the waste of time spent waiting.
We postpone the start until everyone has arrived.
Nonetheless, a large number of individuals are already present and doing nothing but waiting.
They are awaiting an indeterminate length of time rather than a predetermined one.
You would not expect this to worsen the situation, yet it does.
3. Mental Wellness
Organisations have made mental health a priority.
This is due to the fact that we have (mostly) removed its negative connotation and employees value it equally with other benefits.
However, the majority of effort is focused on providing mental health solutions rather than addressing the organisational causes of poor mental health.
Not being ready, being in a hurry, not being able to follow through, and waiting for meetings to start can all be bad for mental health.
All of these factors contribute to higher stress levels.
Add to that the inability to use the restroom, stay hydrated (either consciously, because you know you won’t get a bathroom break, or simply because you don’t have time to refill your water bottle), respond to a quick text from a family member, or perform any other simple but time-consuming tasks.
This is even worse for those lower on the organisational hierarchy, who do not believe they have authority to leave early or come late while senior members are present.
They are anxious during a meeting that is running late, hoping to avoid offending senior members in their next meeting.When they go to the next meeting, they are still worried and hope that they didn’t offend anyone by being late.
Eliminating the 60-minute meeting is one way to reduce the organization’s overall stress and anxiety.
And it’s gratis!
What should you do?
What can be done is highly dependent on one’s position within the organisation.
But, regardless of your position, you are not helpless.
At the very least, you can influence practises.
Start by resetting the standard time.
This can be done individually or organizationally.
Do that now before reading further.
Set your calendar’s default setting to fewer than 60 minutes.
Second, create appropriate agendas with set durations.
Instead of increasing the time, set the clock to “T-minus.”
Ten minutes prior to the conclusion of the meeting, we must begin X.
Twenty minutes before the end of the meeting, we will begin Y.
And in the spirit of clear duties, appointing a timekeeper is one of the most fundamental and widespread aspects of meeting management.
Third, alter the conduct.
Simply noting the end time does not complete the task but increases the likelihood of getting it right.
The core habit of driving is a signal that it is time to begin wrapping up.
A decent rule of thumb is to begin signalling ten minutes before you want to conclude.
This is quadrupled for senior leaders, which is the fourth point, or modifier to the third.
As this is a cultural solution, it is up to you to set the tone.
If you do this at every meeting, it will become habitual.
Recognise and embrace your cultural influence.
We can terminate the sixty-minute meeting.
Consequently, our shareholders, customers, and employees will all reap benefits.