Why asking "why this meeting?" can transform your workday

Meetings are a staple of our work lives, but not all meetings are created equal. Over time, I’ve learned the importance of questioning the purpose of every meeting. If a meeting doesn’t have a clear agenda or doesn’t require my input, I often find that my time could be better spent elsewhere.

The purpose-driven meeting


One of the most valuable lessons I’ve embraced is asking, “Why this meeting?” Before committing time to any gathering, it’s crucial to understand its purpose and my role in it. If neither are clear, it’s likely the meeting could be streamlined or replaced with a more efficient form of communication, like a brief email or a Slack message.

Saying no to unnecessary meetings

Not every meeting deserves your time. Being selective and saying no to meetings where you neither contribute nor gain anything is not only acceptable but necessary for productivity. By focusing on meaningful engagements, you can allocate more time to tasks that truly matter and drive your work forward.

Embracing the unconference principle

I’ve had the opportunity to attend several unconferences, where the golden rule is simple: leave if you’re not contributing or gaining value. This principle is liberating and ensures that your time is spent where it’s most impactful. Adopting this mindset in traditional work settings can transform how we approach meetings and use our time.

Transforming your workday

By critically evaluating the necessity of each meeting and opting out of those that don’t serve a clear purpose, you reclaim valuable time. This practice not only enhances personal productivity but also promotes a culture where meetings are purposeful and efficient.

Incorporating these strategies has significantly improved my workday. I’ve become more focused, engaged, and productive by ensuring that every meeting I attend has a clear goal and relevance to my work.

Next time you receive a meeting invite, take a moment to ask, “Why this meeting?” It could be the key to transforming how you spend your time and boosting your overall productivity.