Set Your Creative Team Members Free

Having more meetings is not beneficial. They aren’t where real work gets done. In fact, they do a good job at ruining your creative team member’s productivity. I’ve blogged about the importance of reducing meetings for years, usually noting how they are basically a destructive force you should minimize the impact of.

Certainly working agency-side meetings are a necessary part of my day, but I’ll never schedule a meeting unless I deem one absolutely necessary. They ruin the ability to get into a flow experience with projects and destroy the focus of your day. To an extent I’ve learned to be productive even with meetings, but for really challenging work I always clear my schedule to make the time necessary for it.

No one can force creative work into small time chunks here and there surrounded by meetings and expect to get remarkable work done. It just takes longer, the creative process can’t be forced into a neat little box. It’s messy. Meetings get in the way of our thinking process.

Recently I stumbled upon an article by Paul Graham on the notion of the maker’s schedule. One bit from it was especially interesting about meetings that I found myself agreeing with:

I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there’s sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I’m slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning. I know this may sound oversensitive, but if you’re a maker, think of your own case. Don’t your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don’t. And ambitious projects are by definition close to the limits of your capacity. A small decrease in morale is enough to kill them off.

Paul’s notion of ambitious projects is a powerful one. We all feel most fulfilled and that we’re reaching our potential when we’re involved in them, but at the same time they’re the hardest to break into. Anything such as a meeting that could hinder the first step is seriously worth removing.

Ruthlessly eliminate meetings from your team’s workflow and set your creative team members free.