The meeting that could have been an email is not going away.
Even after a pandemic challenged workplace norms, it seems like some corporations are determined to deliver their employees back into a world of lengthy all-hands or workshops.
But being tied up in meetings all day is not only frustrating. It can also limit productivity.
Robert I. Sutton, an organizational psychologist and professor at Stanford University, has a counterintuitive solution if you find yourself stuck in a pointless meeting: just leave.
He does this, he says, at least once a week: "I'm a big believer in walking out of things."
Sutton is also the co-author of the upcoming book "The Friction Project: How Smart Leaders Make the Right Things Easier and the Wrong Things Harder."
There are many instances where you're not needed and when your time would be better spent doing something else.
If this is the case, Sutton says you can excuse yourself in a polite way that doesn't invite any questions.
"Just smile and say 'I've got something to get to,'" he says.
Growing up, we are taught to endure some obligations.
"In school we learn to sit in our place until the end of class and you can't leave unless you have some incredibly dramatic excuse," he says.
While this mindset is useful for kids, it might not serve you as an adult.
"A lot of times we treat life like we are on an extended flight in the middle seat and there is no way we can get out," he says.
Of course, there are some professions where leaving a situation is not an option. "I don't want an anesthesiologist to walk out on me mid-operation," he says.
But if your leaving won't hurt anyone, why not duck out?
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