Print out a view of this week in your diary.
Circle every meeting that is about solving one specific objective that needs the input of others to be achieved this week. Strike out the rest of the meetings.
Now look at the meetings that are circled. Can any of these collaborations be achieved another way, another week or in less time?
Strike any that are simply to share information, gather ideas or could be delegated to one person to manage. Strike out the meetings to make decisions and delegate or run an experiment with these decisions instead. Shrink any meeting that runs longer than the conversation needed.
Many of the meetings that got struck out will be imposed by others or are just part of a routine in your organisation. Have a hard conversation with the convenor of these meetings about how to manage them differently. The other people in these meetings will thank you for saving them wasted time.
What remains in your diary will be your high value collaboration. Meetings should be just for collaboration with others that create value. You can better use the time otherwise.
Focusing meetings on creating the maximum amount of value from your time releases a huge amount of wasted time. One of the biggest advantages of my independent life is the time released from ineffective meetings and the ability to focus my time on meetings that matter.
Releasing time is the most effective way to create potential to do more. Strike out a meeting or two today. Use your time wisely.
Now you have the time go have a coffee with someone and get to know them better.