While I understand that meetings can’t be eliminated I also agree that many of them require urgent changes. The main issues I find destructive in far too many meetings are:
- No clear purpose.
- No agenda (= no chance to prepare or decline the meeting).
- No owner.
- Not sticking to a schedule.
- No clear actions after the meeting (except for a need for calling another meeting).
- The more attendees the better.
IMHO fixing the issues above would make most meetings far less destructive and not feeling like a waste of time.
Breaking day into small incoherent chunks can be solved by some simple policies like not having any meetings after/before lunch, having them at the beginning of a day, etc.
Of course, it won’t eliminate all the problems, but it’s easier to stand a couple of destructive meetings per month when all others are either cancelled or scheduled and conducted properly.
No, I’m not against meetings. I’m against useless meetings.