Project Management Institute

Breathing Room

Want to Get More out of Meetings? Schedule Breaks Between Them

Take a glance at the calendars of your project team members: Are they a back-to-back kaleidoscope of color with no break between meetings? In the short term, scheduling meetings like this can seem unavoidable or even efficient. Hectic travel schedules and the limited availability of consultants or conference rooms often mean we have to grab whatever open hour or two we can. But in the long term, holding successive meetings without breaks is unsustainable and can lead to productivity loss and burnout. Those efficiently stacked meeting blocks could eventually threaten the project's momentum and success. Instead, project managers should institute a 10- or 15-minute buffer between meetings.
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