Nine Things Productive People Don’t Do When It Comes to Meetings

You probably spend a lot of time in meetings — make sure they’re productive by avoiding these things

Wang Yip
5 min readApr 17


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I’m willing to bet if you work in a corporate environment, you have too many meetings, or rather, too many unproductive meetings. From a 2021 Productivity Trends Report, the average professional spends 21.5 hours a week in meetings and a busy professional spends 32.9 hours a week in meetings.

Don’t get me wrong, meetings aren’t always a bad thing. They’re great, as long as meetings are used in the right way. Here are ten things productive people don’t do when it comes to meetings.

Meet when an email will suffice

The purpose of any meeting is to make decisions and take action. Do you have a decision where you need to get everyone on the same page? Does it make sense to skip the back-and-forth of email and to open things up for discussion?

Meet without an agenda

I wouldn’t say every single meeting needs an agenda — depending on the participants, what you want to discuss, the formality of the meeting, you could send a meeting invite without one: for example, lunch with a colleague or coffee with the boss’s boss.

Think about it this way though, if you’re meeting with people who run from meeting to meeting without any time to prepare, wouldn’t you want to at least give them a heads-up about what your meeting is about so at the very least they can mentally prepare themselves?

Have a meeting without an organizer/facilitator/leader

This goes back to the purpose of a meeting. If you organized the meeting, people will be looking to you, reviewing the agenda, and trying to understand how you want to run the meeting.

It’s up to the meeting leader to determine what they want to get out of the meeting, and how they want to run the meeting to get what they need.

Meet without someone taking notes, noting decisions, summarizing next steps



Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at