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April 6, 2024 5 mins

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to let go of meeting fomo. Don't consign
yourself to attending more meetings than you need to because
of fear.

Speaker 1 (00:26):
Of missing out. Today's tip comes from an article in
the Harvard Business Review, the Psychology of Meeting Overload. In
the article, authors Ashley Willins, Dave Feldman, and Damien Wisnowski
explore reasons people plan and attend more meetings than they
have to, even though people see meetings as in the

(00:48):
author's words, the number one office productivity killer. One of
those reasons for attending meetings meeting FOMO the fear of
missing out. I'm guessing that part of you is saying
a lot of meetings are pointless, or at least pointless
for some of the people there. Why would anyone fear

(01:09):
missing out on them? And I'm guessing that maybe another
part of you is admitting that you have sometimes gone
to meetings you don't absolutely have to because it stresses
you out to imagine these meetings happening without you in them.
It may be irrational, but it is real. According to
the article, people are afraid they will be judged negatively

(01:33):
if they don't attend meetings, or that their absence won't
be noticed at all. When we equate presence with productivity.
As the authors put it, people hesitate to decline a
meeting for fear people will see them as unproductive and unimportant.
This is ironic, of course, since attending a meeting that

(01:54):
doesn't really require your presence is a great way to
waste an hour, not exactly the definition of being productive.
So what do we do if we know that a
lot of meetings aren't a great use of time for
us personally, but we are afraid of how people will
judge us or forget about us if we don't attend.

(02:15):
The authors suggest that people who decline meeting invitations provide
their insights before the meeting. I think this is great advice.
If you are invited to a meeting that you don't
actually need to attend, or that a schedule conflict prevents
you from attending, send your contributions in advance. Review the

(02:35):
agenda and think through any knowledge or information or questions
that could benefit the team. Send clear notes to the
meeting organizers or to the whole team. If that's how
your office works and the list of attendees is small,
it could be helpful to group your notes by agenda
item so that the meeting leader can glance at your

(02:57):
notes during the relevant section of the meeting. Even though
you are not present, you are participating. That sounds like
a win to me. The authors also have suggestions for
meeting organizers. Avoid inviting people to meetings simply because you
are concerned that they would be hurt if they weren't invited.

(03:19):
It's not a kid's birthday party. Instead, you can avoid
any hurt feelings by reaching out to them beforehand to
get their insights. Through a quick phone call or email
exchange or hallway conversation, they can contribute their insights to
the meeting without sinking an hour into attending it. Don't

(03:40):
let meeting fomo lead you to spend all your time
in meetings or to invite people whose presence isn't needed
for the particular meetings you plan. Instead, look for additional
ways to weigh in on important topics and leave space
available for activities that are a better use of your hours.

(04:02):
In the meantime, this is Laura, Thanks for listening, and
here's to making the most of our time. Hey, everybody,
I'd love to hear from you. You can send me
your tips, your questions, or anything else. Just connect with

(04:24):
me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at Before Breakfast Pod.
That's b E the number four then Breakfast pod. You
can also shoot me an email at Before Breakfast podcast
at iHeartMedia dot com that Before Breakfast is spelled out
with all the letters. Thanks so much, sh I look
forward to staying in touch. Before Breakfast is a production

(04:52):
of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Hmm.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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