Tobias on November 30, 2019:

The real costs of one meeting

meetings are time killers

Luncheon in Buñol by Eva Delaserra

I think it’s not a big secret that meetings are real time killers. Especially those meetings that last more than 40 minutes and include more than 3 people.

At my last Standup Meeting at SpinLab there were 20 people in the room. The meeting lasted 30 minutes so in total we —-wasted-— invested 600 minutes = 10 hours of time. We do this every week.

The return of the meeting was that 20 people stood in a circle and everyone told the others about their gains and pains.

My biggest pain in that moment was that I skipped my journaling and meditation routine this morning because I needed to catch the train to Leipzig where the meeting took place.

I think one thing that we tend to forget is that a meeting never starts at the scheduled time.

It starts way earlier because some attendees might commute to the meeting.

Paul Graham says:
"A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in."

I agree.

When I know that I have a meeting at 2pm and I return from lunch at 1pm - what do you think happens between 1 and 2pm? Not much because the only thing I can think of is “oh.. soon I have that meeting”


  • Pre Meeting: Oh I have this meeting soon
  • Mh.. soon.. the meeting will start
  • another 10 mins.. what could i do until then?
  • Meeting: Lalala
  • Post Meeting: What was I up to?? /Sketch

It becomes worse when you read this study. It says that after every interruption it takes us 20 minutes to refocus. Good luck getting work done when your schedule looks like this:

Sketch this


So bascially.. if your day is full of meetings you’re doomed.

Especially when you want some focus time to tackle real problems.

Progress needs creativity and creativity needs space.

REFERENCE: My percect day

The good thing about my Standup meeting this day was that I could write this blog post while riding the train.

Since we can’t avoid every meeting we should make the most of it.

Next time, you invite someone or a group of people to a meeting don’t look for the next free spot.

Also Consider also how it will break the day of every single individual into a pre meeting and post meeting phase.

If we all take a bit more care of each others time. Then meetings can be a dream.