This won't shock you: Sources have shown meetings swallow up more than half of execs' work time in a week. I've written about this before, offering guidance from the late Steve Jobs on keeping meetings lean, thoughts on how to categorize meetings to cut the fluff, and ways to engage meeting participants so they aren't forever heads-down on their phones.
All of that is helpful, to be sure, but it's dependent on the meeting organizer to execute. If you're executing the meeting, you probably think the meeting has some value, however you structure that value. What matters, however, is how valuable a meeting is to those who attend.
Instead of trying to determine that yourself, there's a method you can use that quickly and effectively folds in participant opinion. I touched on this recently, but it's worth explaining in more depth.
I call this method the "Stoplight Review." It's really just as easy as it sounds.
After taking into account the other meeting-cutting/streamlining techniques noted above, hold meetings you deem of high value but close with an opportunity for participants to weigh in on meeting value -- and the need to keep them moving forward.
Here's how you frame it: When the meeting is over, ask those attending to give it a red, yellow, or green rating:
Green (Translation: "This meeting was very valuable. Please include me in meetings like this in the future.")
Yellow (Translation: "Parts of the meeting were helpful, but you can communicate core messages via chat, email, or other async means." OR "I'm just not sure if this was valuable.")
Red ("This wasn't worth my time; cut these meetings in the future.")
You can handle this any number of ways -- give people green, yellow, and red stickers and ask them to hold them up when it's time to vote, then count the totals. Or you can just call out a color and ask people to raise their hands.
The key here is not get into debate or explanation -- no why needed for each vote. Take the numbers and parse later. Green meetings you can keep on calendars (and use this as guidance for similar meetings in the future), yellow you can keep on calendars but set as "optional," and red you can cut.
The beauty of this method is that it doesn't really take much time. It also ensures you're getting honest feedback from the people who matter most: the key meeting stakeholders.