18 One-Sentence Ways to Make Sure of an Unproductive Meeting

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Fed up of Unproductive Meetings?

Meetings! A place where the minutes are sometimes kept but the hours are definitely lost. To have an unproductive meeting just follow these simple rules:

Tips 1-5

  • 1. Jam pack your week like you are playing Tetris. There must be no gaps between each meeting because no gaps means that you are busy and busy means you are important.


  • 2. End each meeting abruptly at the end without a conclusion, summary, or next step, by announcing ‘I have a 1 O’clock. You guys carry-on without me’. Telling everyone involved that you probably added no value anyway.


  • 3. Start each meeting by nodding at the screen to show your presence whilst typing away, quickly replying to urgent emails in the zero seconds you planned between meetings to get your emails done.


  • 4. During the meeting practise the art of nodding and umming & erring regularly whilst secretly replying to texts, and emails, convincing the other attendees that not only are you bad at doing both but also that everyone else is more important.


  • 5. Keep your email notifications on so that during a meeting you can keep yourself bang up to date with new emails, and having the respect that when they stop talking you can jump in sharing, ‘We’ve just had an email from Client X who wants us to do Y’. Showing everyone that they really should have emailed you rather than have the meeting because at least you read your emails, but you don’t listen in meetings.

Young girl fell asleep in front of laptop whilst on a meeting
Check your email notifications during a meeting


Tips 6-10

  • 6. Sit with the light behind you so you look like the whistleblower from Panorama. If you can download the computer voice app too, then you can be 100%% anonymous. Everyone will be intrigued who you are until they read your Teams name ‘Michale Smith’. Not so intriguing.


  • 7. Show everyone that you can afford two monitors by allowing them to talk to your side profile, and then see your mouth moving as you reply to the other monitor. A little like watching The cartoon Rhubarb and Custard.


  • 8. Share your presentation carefully and painfully by reading the text on each and every slide, ignoring the fact that the audience can read seven times faster than you can speak. This way you can encourage them to react to all and any distractions that come into their world. Whilst they wait for you to catch up speaking what they read 3-minutes ago.


  • 9. Arrive late, attempting to sneak in, though accepting that you flashed up on the screen with your video, where everyone can see you typing emails and making the group wait a little bit longer, as your importance is second to none.


  • 10. Make everyone know how unimportant this meeting is that you accepted. Do this by adding very little to the conversation, having your phone in hand, and checking your emails.

Tips 11-18

  • 11. Agree no actions from the meeting and pray daily that someone didn’t remember that you agreed to write a presentation. Then use the whole of the next meeting waffling about what you did was, sort, tried to, but, then, you see, well….


  • 12. Choose to be off-camera when everyone is on camera and make no mention it. Fear of worker’s rights, mental health, and the HR’s fairness policy, will stop anyone asking. Then you can do your emails without any interruption.


  • 13. Make sure you have an unclear/vague objective for the meeting. This way all attendees are none the wiser either sure-fire way for an unproductive meeting!


  • 14. On Teams/Skype? Virtual backgrounds, make sure it’s something suitably pointless and only fun for you.


  • 15. “YOU’RE ON MUTE!” …Carry on talking and don’t realise it.


  • 16.Dressed from the waist up only? If the doorbell rings or you have to get something, and need to stand up.


  • 17. Screen sharing 101? Forget to switch off your Slack, IMessage etc. “Come down your sausage roll is ready”.


  • 18. Apologise for missing the start time because you’ve been ‘back-to-back’ & then slurp your fresh hot beverage revealing that really you were waiting for the kettle to boil while your colleagues were sat waiting.

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