Clearly meetings have an image problem. We tend to think they’re annoying or a waste of time. And of course many meetings could just as easily be covered in a good email.
On the other hand, we can also forget to report key issues and we sometimes invest hours in things a coworker could help clear up in a matter of minutes. Or say the next step for a complex problem isn’t clear. Squeezing in a quick meeting can keep you from getting bogged down or frustrated.
We just need to get better at (1) letting each other know how to get in touch and then (2) coming together on demand for a specific purpose.
As a team member, you can make it clear to everyone how and when people can best contact you. If you’re a manager, you can continually clarify which project takes priority over other work (if that’s the case, of course). And emphasize that other work can be interrupted for work on that top project.
So do that. This is especially important for starters, because it’s hard enough to let on that you don’t know something. Let alone if you have the feeling you’re bothering people with your questions. Or that you suspect you’d benefit from discussing the matter with – God forbid – more than one person at the same time.