One of the best ways to stay excited about the meetings on your calendar may be to group them together. Creating chunks of time or even dedicated days for meetings allows you to focus on other tasks during those meeting-free slots of time.
“If you know that you’re at your best in the mornings,” Roper explains, “you could schedule meetings in a block during the mornings on two to three days of the week, leaving the rest of the days open for focused work or other tasks.”
This is helpful for leaders to keep in mind too. Ask your team for consensus about when recurring meetings work for everyone so you can all manage your schedules in ways that work for you.
Of course, even the best-laid meetings aren’t always necessary. If an invitation lands in your inbox, and you’re leaning toward declining, Roper recommends reaching out to the organizer to inquire about the meeting’s objective and gain clarification on the role you’re meant to play.
If it still feels unnecessary, Roper suggests offering an alternative like, “I know this meeting covers an important topic. Could we consider sending a detailed email update instead, allowing everyone some additional time to complete their action items?”
And when the situation calls for a hard no, maybe soften it just a bit. The “no, but” format works well for this, Roper says. “I’m unable to attend, but I’d be happy to review the notes afterward” is one example of how to do this.
The goal, after all, is not to be a yes person for every meeting that comes your way but to contribute meaningfully. Bringing intentionality to every meeting can ultimately help you save both your schedule and your sanity.