Am I wasting my time in that meeting and can we cut to the chase?

Let’s set the scene

So, you have a few projects on the go and each client is asking to see an update on a particular piece of work and then you get the question – can we set up a meeting?

Although scheduling a meeting can be the right solution in many instances, it’s not always the best answer. The first question I ask myself is, do we actually need a meeting for this? People often want a meeting if they feel they have lack of clarity and want to gain a sense of progress.

My advice would be to try and understand the intent for it and communicate this to your client as it could radically reduce the number of meetings you attend and increase the amount of work that gets done. This is especially important as a freelance designer because you potentially wouldn’t have charged for the time as the work may had already been quoted for.

Did you know most office workers spend at least 45% of their week in meetings? That means on average, we spend more than 3 months per year in meetings 

Reference: Shoulditbeameeting

Take the test

The client still insists in schedule a meeting

If your client really wants to talk things through then this is absolutely fine, but think about how you can make it as efficient and effective as possible. Even though the request came from the client, consider leading it in a way that establishes a set of desired outcomes. This could include a bullet point summary of topics to initiate structure and estimate a time limit so conversation doesn’t drag on.

Can we meet face to face?

This really is a question of convenience. If your potential client is local and you have the time then maybe meeting at your local coffee shop could be an option – or you could just arrange a Google Hangouts call as these is just as efficient. A little bit like having a meeting for the sake of it, travelling to a coffee shop or office takes time and again ask the question – why?  Within as little as a 20 minute video call you can give a consultation to assess a potential project, share screens and meet face to face via video conference. This is extremely efficient as you can be back on with your daily tasks in no time.

We need you onsite

Hey, don’t get me wrong I enjoy the flexibility of remote working but there are many times where being onsite is an essential part of the success of a project. This might mean attending a workshop and collaborating in a meeting room also has its positives – and I do enjoy mixing it up in different environments with the thrill of a new challenge. ?

Your time

It’s absolutely fine to be onsite, but make sure you charge for your time in the meeting and your travel. If you think it might be excessive charging for your time sat on the train, then just think of it as a day in the office you’ve lost not earning money. In most cases clients have no problem with this but if they do ask the question consider this – Am I wasting my time attending this meeting and could it just be a simple email?


Are you a freelancer that gets caught up in too many meetings? Are you a client that likes to schedule them more often than not? Leave your thoughts as I’d love to know if half of the meetings you’re attending are meaningful or could just be avoided altogether?


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