Cost of meetings

This was recently sent to me and anybody who has worked at Microsoft knows that a lot of teams (if not all) have a lot of meetings and do a lot of communication over email. The essence of the article linked is that people who's work mainly consists of meetings need to understand that people who contribute mostly outside meetings will be less effective if their day is chopped up with a bunch of meetings. I think it is hard to argue that this is wrong since yes; meetings do take time from other things and with less meetings more things tend to get done. And if you have a few meetings in a day it makes sense to try to have them back to back I think.

However I believe meetings is the less disruptive thing during my work day since meetings are scheduled. Every time I walk into somebody's office to discuss something without booking a meeting I interrupt whatever they are doing and vice versa. But that does not mean I want to batch them up. Most of the time a short interruption is not that bad I think and if it means somebody else on the team quickly can be unblocked without writing long emails and/or booking meetings I think the team as a whole will be more productive. And then there is email notifications, instant messages, phone calls etc that cause interruptions. So I think it is more important to make sure the team can handle interruptions and defer them until they can be handled. My favorite method for that is the Pomodoro technique!

I am a believer in the Pomodoro technique since I do not think you can be productive and in the zone for hours. I do think the brain need some time to process thoughts in the background to quickly find solutions to problems. And I've felt the feeling of accomplishment when you know exactly how much you've gotten done in a day. The manager's vs maker's schedule article is good and worth reading but IMO it's just the tip of the iceberg and not addressing main problem. But it makes an important point that should not be forgotten.