On every workday morning for as long as I can remember, I’ve started the day by mentally running through my calendar to determine how many meetings are scheduled. On the days with no meetings, I breathe a huge, exultant sigh of relief. Because I know I can actually get something DONE! I can get into flow without worrying that I have to stop at 10:45 am and then again at 12:30. Meetings thwart creativity because they break up the day into small, unmanageable chunks.
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I’ve often speculated that the predominance of extroverts in management leads them to hold meetings because the managers thrive in gregarious, people-oriented environments. Management necessarily becomes more of a lonely position because there’s fewer interactions with subordinates on a personal or friendly level, but working alone is not their forte. Hence, have meetings. Efficiency as a whole is compromised, but the work completion of the manager is met.
In my experience, people who thrive on meetings and extroverted social interaction at work are often incompetent at performing tasks. On a conscious or subconscious level, they’re trying to make up for their incompetent task skills with social skills.
At LastJob, I was having a conversation with my manager, in which I was saying that I really did not need to get all of my groupmate’s vacation and meeting schedules shared with my calendar. We ended up talking about calendars and I mentioned that I didn’t refer to a calendar very often. My manager asked, quite sincerely, how I knew what I was doing or where to be without lookng at a calendar. I had to explan (just as sincerely) that my days werent spent in back to back meetings.