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Why Mark Cuban only attends meetings where he is closing a deal-and why you should too

Strategies to avoid wasting times in pointless meetings

By Andrea ZanonPublished 25 days ago 3 min read
https://www.fxstreet.com/education/why-mark-cuban-only-attends-meetings-where-he-is-closing-a-deal-and-why-you-should-too-202406161613

Have you ever felt like you're spending more time in meetings than getting shit done? You're not alone, trust me. I used to be a meeting junkie myself when I worked in an international financial institution in Washington, until I realized I was normally on social media at most meetings, and rarely learned anything new, nor contributed to pushing any Item agenda further. Meetings were kind of a way to stay employed and keep the meetings organizers happy and make sure I got a positive performance review when I needed one.

Let's be honest: most meetings are a massive waste of time and a poor allocation of financial resources. Meetings are productivity black holes, procedurally built but weak managers sucking the life out of your day and leaving you with nothing but a general sense of irrelevance. Yet, we keep showing up, day after day, week after week spending approximately 35 percent of our work time in meetings. Why?

The FOMO angle

FOMO, the fear of missing out, is a powerful mental trap. We often worry that if we don't attend a meeting, we'll miss out on a crucial presentation, a game-changing update, or the chance to network with influential people.

But the truth is, most meetings are filled with repackaged updates, meaningless discussions, and bureaucratic box checking. The real work, the real decisions, happen elsewhere, and as Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang says, “There’s only one, two, three activities that draw disproportionate value and the rest is just background noise.” For this reason, he does not do one on one meetings with any of his 55-member management team.

The Mark Cuban way

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has a simple message for meeting addicts: "Get the f*** out of the meeting." His point is, don’t attend meetings unless you're getting paid or making a significant contribution. Otherwise, the meetings are a waste of time.

The cult of busyness

We live in a culture that celebrates people that are busy, and if you are not busy with meetings you start feeling you are irrelevant or not ambitious enough. We associate busy schedules with success and leadership. But here's the thing, being busy doesn't mean you're productive. In fact, it often means the opposite, and it often means you are unable to say no to things and you are ineffective at setting priorities.

The high cost of meetings

Every meeting you say yes comes with a high price tag: lost time that could be spent on activities that improve your business, mental fatigue that leaves you exhausted, and the opportunity cost of what you could be doing instead of being in a conference room or in a zoom.

The ultra-selective entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs understand that time is limited and that they should protect it at all cost. They don't allocate it to marginally important meetings. Instead, they become firm gatekeepers of their calendars, only accepting invitations that truly align with their goals and push their objective further.

Don't feel obligated to answer every email or respond to every meeting request. A non-response is a clear no signal. Let others fill the void with their constant emails, slacks messages, and meetings while you focus on what truly matters.

To stay in control, I've personally started setting a weekly "meeting budget", a maximum number of hours I'll allocate to meetings each week. It's a simple but effective way to ensure I'm not overspending my time in conference rooms and can focus on the work that can improve my business.

How to avoid the meeting addiction

Start by challenging the business culture of accepting every meeting and every zoom invite. Question their purpose and relevance. Set a high bar for attendance, only accepting meetings that have a clear agenda and where you can add significant value and grow your wealth. Adopt a more selective communication strategy whereby most discussions can be handled efficiently through email or slack, or by ignoring what is not priority. And most importantly, don't be afraid to just say no. Your time is too precious to waste.

The bottom line

Meetings are the enemy of personal growth and productivity. They're often a symptom of a deeper corporate problem: a lack of focus, poor communication, or a fear of missing out.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to progressively move out of the meeting addiction. Start saying "no" more often, embrace the power of silence, and start focusing on what you have full control: building your business, serving your customers, and living your life.

So, the next time you get a meeting invite, ask yourself: Is this REALLY a game changer? If the answer is no, delete the message and get back to work.

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About the Creator

Andrea Zanon

Andrea Zanon is an international sustainable development and empowerment specialist who has dedicated his life to reducing poverty, promoting sustainability and empowering ambitious people

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Comments (1)

  • Andrea Zanon (Author)25 days ago

    If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to progressively move out of the meeting addiction. Start saying "no" more often, embrace the power of silence, and start focusing on what you have full control: building your business, serving your customers, and living your life. So, the next time you get a meeting invite, ask yourself: Is this REALLY a game changer? If the answer is no, delete the message and get back to work.

Andrea ZanonWritten by Andrea Zanon

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