Short Meetings

When we have back-to-back meetings in an office we get a short break as we move between meeting rooms. This is time that can be used for a quick toilet trip, grab a drink, or just stretch our muscles. In a remote work environment we miss out on this opportunity, moving between meetings rooms is just a couple of clicks of the mouse; often we don’t even stand up from our seat.

# How to Implement It

# Google Calendar

Google Calendar has an option to turn on “short meetings”. This will reduce the length of meetings under 1 hour by 5 minutes, and meetings of an hour or more by 10 minutes.

# Desktop

Open your calendar (, click on the gear icon (⚙) in the top right corner and select “Settings” from the dropdown menu. On the settings page select “Event settings” under the “General” heading on the menu. Check the “Speedy meetings” box in the main content area.

# Mobile

You will need to use a web browser on a computer to enable this setting.

# Microsoft Outlook

In Microsoft Outlook this option is called “End appointments and meetings early” and it is a little more configurable that the Google option.

# Microsoft Outlook (application)

Select “File”, “Options”, “Calendar”, “Calendar options” from the menu bar. Select the “End appointments and meetings early” and remember to set the meeting reduction times.

# Apple Calendar

Apple Calendar doesn’t have an option, but you can change the default meeting length, personally I’ve set mine to 50 minutes.

# MacOS

Open a Terminal window. Paste the following code, changing the number at the end to “25” if you prefer your default to be half hour meetings.

defaults write 'Default duration in minutes for new event' 50

# My Experience So Far

I proposed this idea at my new job a couple of days ago. So far a number of people have started using it and have adjusted existing meetings. We’ve had a few issues with people not knowing when to start the meeting (should it start on the hour or 10 minutes later), but we seem to be adjusting to starting them on the hour. I’ve found the time between meetings has given me time to stretch and prepare for my next meeting. I’m still working on making sure I grab a drink, but so far it’s working well and I’ve already noticed I’m not as tired at the end of the day.