Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

3 meetings per week or less?… - how two Michaels argue about managing people


Finally decided to record a long-form video on my new YouTube channel featuring two Michaels arguing about meetings. Here’s the video and full script below. Do you also agree that meetings should be regular, optional and well prepared? just like we do at Nozbe?

Introduction to Michaels

NoOffice guy: Hi, I’m Michael, the NoOffice guy, the remote guy, I work from home, I believe that work is not a place to go, it’s a thing to do. And you are?

Office guy: Hi, I’m the other Michael, the Office guy. I dress nicely. I go to an office every day, I practice management by walking around. I love running back-to-back meetings!

3 meetings per week?

N: I also like meetings. I have two of them a week. Sometimes three.

O: Meetings are fun! But I understand you meant 3 meetings a day? That’s really not that much…

N: No. 3 a week. One on Monday. And one or two on Tuesday. Usually no meetings on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

O: You have days without meetings? Sorry, but if that’s so, you don’t seem to care much about if your team is working at all. What kind of manager are you?!

Nozbe - projects, tasks and comments… vs meetings…

N: Oh, I do care. A lot. But as we have everything laid out in Nozbe in projects, tasks and comments, I know exactly what people are working on and where they need my feedback. And when they do, I write comments to their tasks, sometimes very long ones!

O: To me it seems like a waste of time to be typing long comments… I’m not a writer, I’m a manager!

N: Yeah, but if you don’t write comments to tasks, then how do you provide people with your feedback? You call people up for a meeting?

O: Of course, I’m just like - let’s have a quick meeting about this - let’s go! I’m so efficient!

N: You think you are - but you’re wasting other people’s time!

O: How so?

N: Maybe they were actually working on something at the moment, maybe you just interrupted them and took them out of their flow just for your convenience.

O: Yeah, but I’m their manager. That’s my job!

N: Your job is to interrupt people you hired to work for you.

O: When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound good…

Meetings should be regular, optional and well-prepared…

N: Exactly, that’s why… I believe meetings should be regular, optional and well prepared. Regular, meetings ensure that people can plan their day. For example, my leadership meeting is every Monday at 10:30 and lasts about an hour, sometimes hour and a half.

O: OK, regular. Got it. And optional?

N: If the meeting is not well prepared, if we don’t have an agenda, or some people are missing or we have too much work, we can agree to cancel this week’s meeting. We know that we can catch up next week.

O: Bold, but makes sense. And well-prepared?

N: We need to have a proper agenda and all meeting points must have notes and everyone who participates in that meeting must have read all of them.

O: Ohh, that sounds like lots of work!

N: Not really if you do it like we do - in a project our agenda points are tasks and all of them have comments or files attached to them. Sometimes in these comments we resolve the issues and when we do, it’s another reason to cancel this week’s meeting.

More time for DEEP WORK…

O: And when that happens, what do you do?

N: We actually have more time to do the work we were hired to do! We have more time for deep work!

O: Deep work, huh? Doesn’t sound as cool as a meeting though…

What do you think?

First off, please let me know what you think about this kind of concept of a meeting and second, what did you think about this video?

Thursday, April 18, 2024 /meetings/