A day without meetings

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Back when it was more difficult to work from home due to bandwidth, I would often head into the office to work for several hours on some weekends and bank holidays like President’s Day. I was a database administrator and was always involved with many projects, but what would make me give up my well-deserved time off? Unfortunately, that was one strategy I had to get caught up on some tasks without interruptions like meetings and more requests.

Meetings can be critical for communication in organizations, but there are so many, and they often overlap. I remember one particular day back at my DBA job when we were starting on a gigantic project. The kickoff meeting was followed by several other related back-to-back meetings filling most of the day. The bad thing was that everyone involved in the project was expected to attend every meeting even when it didn’t apply to them. At one point, there was a 15-minute break. When we returned to the conference room, the project manager started asking us how many tasks assigned that day were we able to complete!

Most of my meetings at Redgate tend to land Tuesday to Thursday mornings. The early meeting time is to accommodate both UK and US folks. The nice thing is that many Mondays and Fridays have very few meetings, so I tend to get more done on those days.

Recently, former Redgater Kendra Little tweeted that her job had a “no meeting Friday” policy. She was happy that she could get so much done on Fridays without being interrupted. I had been thinking about this idea for a couple of weeks before I saw Kendra’s tweet and had no idea it was actually done at any organization.

Even if there are very few meetings on certain days, there is still Slack communication and emails. I may have a plan for what I want to accomplish on a particular day, but I will often get sidetracked with other requests.

Redgate has a collaborative culture, and I would never want to change that, but I would love to see a day where we could pretend we are not at work. It would be fun to see a to-do list shrink one day a week instead of growing larger. Some teams need to be available all the time, but wouldn’t it be great to have one day a week with no email, Slack, or meetings?

About the author

Kathi Kellenberger

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Kathi Kellenberger is a Customer Success Engineer at Redgate and a former Microsoft Data Platform MVP. She has worked with SQL Server for over 20 years and has authored, co-authored, or tech edited more than 20 technical books. Kathi is a volunteer at LaunchCode, the St. Louis based organization providing free training and paid apprenticeships in technology. When Kathi isn’t working she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cycling, singing, and climbing the stairs of tall buildings. Be sure to check out her courses on Pluralsight.

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