I’d start with canceling all recurring meetings. To hold a meeting just because it’s on the calendar instead of because there is an actual need all but guarantees that it’s going to be a waste of time.
I’m so sick of software fads that I won’t even work onsite anymore; the last onsite gig I had took up agile or scrum or one of those things I don’t bother to differentiate, and what had been a daily email (try to get it in by 10AM please) to a “morning standup” at 8:30 AM, which meant that my 30 minute commute, arriving at 10:00, became a 90 minute commute so I could arrive weary and irritated and barely in time to listen to the other developers sigh that they were working on the same thing they had been working on yesterday.
It was not only a colossal waste of time, it started off the whole day with stultifying boredom and aggravation. And most attendees dutifully adopted the new nomenclature in what we heretofore had been calling “user scenarios” were suddenly “stories” and I clenched my fists under the table at the infantilization.
I only work from home now and at my last team gig we got by with one team meeting per week, usually under an hour.
I refer to meetings as interruptions now, because that’s the most prominent role they play. At Intel your power was directly measured in how much of others’ time you could waste. They had three-day meetings (not a typo) and when I was excused from most meetings to work the Intel people were furious.
Meetings. The fewer, the better.