Meetings: the good, the bad, the ugly

Meetings: the good, the bad, the uglyAlthough some meetings are necessary, I’m just not a big fan. They interrupt what you’re doing, and in some cases, it’s hard to get motivated to start a project because you know you’ll soon be stopping it to attend a meeting.

I’m the type of person who likes to get things done. I like seeing results and crossing items off my to-do list each day. What I’m not a huge fan of is discussing how those things are going to get done in an hour-long meeting. Office discussions, touching base, going over projects—all great. Formalizing a meeting for these things results in off-topic conversations and wasted time. For the everyday work life, most meetings are just not needed.

Those are feelings I share with 37signals creator Jason Fried. He talks about this topic regularly and has written about it—among other things—in his book, Rework. It’s a refreshing, modern take on things. Take a look at this interview he did back in 2009. Very cutting edge.

In another of his famous talks, Fried discusses why creative types need hours of uninterrupted time to get work done. It’s brilliant.

Yes, some meetings are needed to close a deal, grow a business, or communicate with customers. But others—the ones where your creativity is halted, time is wasted, and productivity suffers—just are not.