How Meetings Are a Waste Of Time and How To Avoid or Get Out of Them
I read a WSJ article on ineffective meetings. It is about the manifesto to end boring meetings.
This brought back thousands of hours of meetings I wished I could have back or would certainly decline to attend had I realized what I know now. Most of this post is tongue in cheek unlike the WSJ, but I’ll bet everyone wishes they weren’t in so many meetings.
First, let me start out with some quotes I found from The Quote Garden, starting with the one that reminded me most of the meetings I’ve attended:
A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. ~Barnett Cocks, attributed
A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours. ~Milton Berle
To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon. ~Author Unknown
If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.” ~Dave Barry, “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”
Our age will be known as the age of committees. ~Ernest Benn
If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock. ~Arthur Goldberg
A committee is an animal with four back legs. ~John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. ~H.L. Mencken
A “Normal” person is the sort of person that might be designed by a committee. You know, “Each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray.” ~Alan Sherman
A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour. ~Elbert Hubbard
A camel looks like a horse that was planned by a committee. ~Author Unknown
A committee is a group of the unwilling chosen form the unfit, to do the unnecessary. ~Author Unknown
If you live in a country run by committee, be on the committee. ~Author Unknown
Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club?… Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam. ~Alfred Whitney Griswold
We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist. ~Frank Moore Colby
I don’t believe a committee can write a book. It can, oh, govern a country, perhaps, but I don’t believe it can write a book. ~Arnold Toynbee
There is no monument dedicated to the memory of a committee. ~Lester J. Pourciau
Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to. ~Katharine Whitehorn
Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything. ~John Kenneth Galbraith
People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. ~Thomas Sowell
MEETING RULES TO SURVIVE
The best way to deal with a meeting is to avoid it. If you can already have a meeting at a time that the scheduler proposes it or be busy and/or somehow away or out of the office. Teleconferencing kills that strategery unless you can be found traveling, but sometimes it’s unavoidable (see how to get out of a meeting below if you have to go). The people calling the meeting are really only people who want the meeting anyway.
For things to do to avoid meetings or how to goof around during a meeting, go to the link How to goof around at work.