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People Who Brag About Being in Back-to-Back Meetings Deeply Misunderstand Productivity

The Buddha’s empty calendar explains an alternate reality

Source | | Tim Denning

Looking back at corporate life, it becomes apparent: I don’t miss meetings.

One recruiter I encountered left me with a moment I will never forget. They reached out to me on LinkedIn. They wanted to catch up for coffee to talk about how I could help them with their business. They knew many of my closest friends, so I decided to say yes.

What followed is bizarre.

They introduced their personal assistant (the ultimate sign of privilege). We went back and forth trying to find a time. It became exhausting.

“He can’t do all of next week. Actually he’s booked the week after too. Let’s try for four weeks.”

I scheduled and prayed for the meeting to go ahead like a good little productivity nerd. The day came. One hour before I get a phone call. “He’s had something come up and has to reschedule.”

We do the dance again to find more time. We get another slot. The time comes … and guess what? Emergency board meeting. I scheduled the meeting with his PA one last time (three’s a charm). It got to the day. I was nervous. I had to travel on a packed train to his office. I got there. The walls were pretentiously mahogany. The waiting room furniture was trying to make a loud statement. My Ikea programmed brain didn’t see the big deal.

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