There’s a thoughtful essay in the New York Times about the inefficient use of meetings, and how that impacts our productivity:
In business, we like to convert time to money, and the reverse. But in practice, time and money are different. We can get more money, save it, move it between accounts and use it on demand. These operations don’t apply easily to time.
Time is the most perishable good in the world, and it is not replenishable. You can’t earn an extra hour to use on a busy day. Nonetheless, we usually have a vague feeling that there is plenty of time — somewhere in the future — so we waste it now and carelessly steal time from our families, friends or ourselves when we come up short at the end of a workday and need to stay an extra hour.
The author, Reid Hastie, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, offers some good advice, particularly the idea of holding one person accountable for each meeting’s success. If the meeting-leader doesn’t get things rolling and make sure everyone’s time is used judiciously, someone else runs the next one.
New York Times: Meetings Are a Matter of Precious Time
(photo courtesy of officenow)