I have added them up, and over the last five weeks I have participated in 23 meetings. Twenty-three. Do the math and that comes out to an average of nearly one meeting per workday. Of them all, one of the most beneficial was meeting #23 that I had yesterday afternoon–and it never appeared on my calendar.
The “meeting” was an unplanned spontaneous conversation with a fellow faculty member that took place in a parking lot. What started out as an ordinary exchange of greetings turned into a valuable discourse about a topic of interest (I learned) to both of us and of importance to our institution. A short 15 minutes later we were parting company with great ideas and tangible action items to carry out.
Boom. Just like that. Productivity. And it was not on my schedule when I woke up that morning.
The moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the value of impromptu meetings. They may be the most productive things that you never see coming.