Google Launched a New Calendar Feature — Now You’ll Know How Much Time You Really Spend in Meetings

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April 13, 2024 at 5:58AM UTC

Google Calendar has officially rolled out “Time Insights,” and it’ll change the way you think about your work meetings forever.

Time Insights analyzes your calendar data to see exactly how much time you’re spending in meetings — and when and who you’re spending that time with. On the left-hand rail of your calendar, you can see how much time you’re spending in meetings that week and how that compares to your three-week average.

By clicking “More insights,” you can get in-depth information about what kinds of meetings you’re in — whether they’re 1:1s, 3+ guests, recurring or meetings you still need to respond to. You can also see your typical meeting-heavy day and the people you meet with most.

My time insights this week.
My time insights this week.

The most insightful feature of these insights might just be the “time remaining” section, which tells you how much non-meeting time you have within your working hours.

My manager's time insights this week.
My manager's time insights this week.

For some, this might be a warning sign that you’re spending way too much time in meetings.

If you’re concerned about spending all of your time in meetings — especially while working from home — you’re not alone. Dozens of Fairygodboss community members have shared their dilemmas about their overwhelming meeting schedules on the feed. 

In one post titled, “Too many meetings!,” an anonymous Fairygodboss member shared:

“It’s gotten to the point I don’t know what to do anymore. My workload is off the charts, and I have several meetings on top of it every day. I have had conversations with my supervisor about it and she gets it, but we don’t know how to avoid getting roped into multiple mandatory meetings  every day....I want to be busy in my job and make great contributions, but this isn’t efficient.”

Here’s what to do if you’re spending way too much time in meetings.

Fairygodboss’ers empathized with the original poster and offered advice. Some recommended blocking off time for personal and independent working time. Others said to be firm about meeting times and make sure to leave meetings when they were scheduled to end (and not a minute later). One suggested shortening meeting times to ten minutes or less.

Now, Google’s new Time Insights might just offer another way to start fighting back against unnecessary and overwhelming meetings.

Time Insights give you the hard data to convince your manager — or a colleague who insists on making every discussion a meeting — that you’re way too overbooked. You can even narrow down what kind of meetings (like certain recurring meetings, or meetings with a specific person) are scraping away at your time.

Sharing your insights just might open your coworkers’ eyes to your overwhelming schedule and bring the helpful, meeting-less change you really need in your working world.

Has anyone else checked out their insights? What surprised you? Share in the comments below.

For me, it’s that my meeting-heavy day is Thursday — no wonder I’m so pumped when Friday hits. 


This article does not reflect the views of Fairygodboss.

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