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4 simple steps to a No Meetings Week

4 simple steps to a No Meetings Week
4 simple steps to a No Meetings Week

Last week I shared a post on LinkedIn about having a No Meetings Week and was blown away by the response. So I thought I'd share a little more behind the scenes details with you all on how I do these. Most of us can relate to starting the week with the calendar already full. The thought of no meetings is so far off the radar, that we’d be happy just to avoid back to back calls all day, every day!

Sound familiar? It certainly was for me for many years.

The good news is there’s likely a way for you to achieve this or at least get close. But I already know what you are thinking, so let’s start first by helping get you some proof you can actually pull this off:

Get Proof

  • Pull up your schedule in 3 months. What does it look like? If you’re a time blocker (bonus points) you likely see your standard weekly template, if not, maybe a reminder or two but not much more than that. What’s not on there likely - meetings!

  • Pull up a schedule for an upcoming (or past) vacation - what do you see? Big blocks that say “PTO” or “OOO” or “Beach Time!” - whatever! But what I hope you don’t see are meetings.

Beach time calendar view
Beach time calendar view

  • Pull up your last business trip (or travel of any kind). In most cases you couldn’t have meetings even if you wanted to because you are in an airport, on a plane or attending an event. You might even call it a “travel day”. What’s missing? Meetings!

This is proof you can design a week without meetings. You just need the appropriate time to plan and expectations (with your team and clients) to execute.

How to Get Started

  1. No Meetings Block: a great way to start is take some small, reasonable steps you know you can do. Start with a “no meetings” block every day for an hour or two. Wouldn’t it be nice to start the day with no meetings for 2 hours?! (I have a friend who automatically declines anything prior to 10am- that’s one worth stealing).

  2. No Meetings ½ Day Block: Then graduate to a half day every week. Block it off and treat it like gold. Save that time for large projects, strategic thinking or a little fun. (I have two of these each week, one on Wednesdays for boards and bikes, and one on Fridays for fun with friends and family).

  3. No Meetings Day: The big step is committing to a full day. “No Meetings Monday” is becoming more common, but maybe that doesn’t work for you. Others love finishing the week on a quiet Friday (put me in that category). The day doesn’t matter. What matters is you block an entire day as if you were on an island or an airplane or on an airplane on the way to an island. No meetings!

No Meetings Block calendar view
No Meetings Block calendar view

  1. No Meetings Week: The last is the big one. And I’ll admit until I joined my new company Time Doctor I’m not sure it was possible but when I heard the concept - I was all in. Yep you guessed it, No Meetings Week! An entire week blocked off to focus on, well, work! (and other stuff). We pre-schedule these for the entire year and put them on the calendar for the entire company to schedule around.

OK, now you see it might actually be possible. Maybe you’re even a little excited to try, but you’re likely asking questions like, “well, that’s great but what about when….”

So here’s the deal. Like everything in business, we have to be flexible. Stuff happens, fires pop up, opportunities get prioritized - and you have to adjust accordingly. BUT, you’ll find when you design your week (and month) around the “no meetings” concept, you’ll find more often than not you can make it happen - if you really want to.

tips on how I design my No Meetings strategy with some flexibility:

  • No Meetings Block: these are non-negotiable for others to schedule over. They are my last resort for open times and only used in the case of an urgent issue

  • No Meetings ½ Day: same rules apply for others to schedule - these are off limits as if I’m out of the office (which I’m supposed to be). I do, however, give myself some grace with these and use for overflow time in case I feel behind or have a big looming deadline. (but preferably no meetings)

  • No Meetings Day: blocked for anything recurring but make myself available for time sensitive matters for my executive team

  • No Meetings Week: for us, this means “no internal meetings”. The only one we keep is our 90 minute weekly leadership call. That’s it. Other than customers, we work hard to protect this time for each other. One thing that helps is by sharing what big project you’ll be using all that time for!

No meetings week calendar image
No meetings week calendar view

Like anything, you need to design what works for you. And you’ll need to make sure set proper expectations with your team, customers and others to honor it. What I want you to see is that it is possible to design a No Meetings concept into your week. I encourage you to try it, get uncomfortable and then you too will discover how comforting it really can be!

All the best & balance,



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