Before making an appointment, I ask myself a few questions. Is it possible to do what I’m going to do without a meeting? Is it possible to solve this without another Zoom call? How else can I accomplish this task?
In half of the cases, I figure out that a meeting can be replaced with a letter, a scheduled message, a screencast, a voice message, or an old-fashioned phone call.
❌ Situations when meetings are not necessary:
- to get an unambiguous “yes” or “no” answer
- to update the status of ongoing tasks
- to request information
- to ask for or give feedback on a design layout
- to make edits and suggestions to a draft
- to make onboarding for a new admin panel of a website
✅ Situations when meetings are necessary:
- to hold the initial meeting of the project
- to present a logo, a website, or other deliverables from the contract
- to resolve a personal conflict among parties of the project
- to share knowledge and experience: one-on-one meetings, team training
- to discuss issues that require a lot of clarification: briefing, cost estimate, agreement
This principle helps to understand whether a meeting is needed or not. If my email does more harm than good, a meeting will be a better option. For example, if there is increasing friction in the project, you should not dispute via email. Discuss disagreements face to face, this way it will be much easier for you to calm the interlocutor and resolve the conflict.
Though if the text allows you to solve the problem without putting the project and the relationship with a client at risk, you may cancel a meeting and find another way to get the job done. For example, it is more productive to comment on a new design layout in Figma and then hold a call on demand to discuss the feedback you gave rather than stare at the layout you’ve never seen before.
The main secret to making more time is to reduce the number of meetings. Half of the meetings people have are fucking pointless and unnecessary.