BNET is chockablock full of articles you can read about how to make meetings shorter (make everyone stand), or more productive (don't serve refreshments -- too distracting). But here's the real secret: Don't be afraid to say no to a meeting invitation where your presence adds little value.
Here's a starting point, thanks to the Steve Prokesch blog item Lessons From GE's Approach to Productivity on Harvard Business. One of the GE tips Prokesch passes along is to first identify which meetings are time wasters from a personal productivity standpoint.
Compare your calendar with the priorities. Label the purpose of every regular or recurring activity on your quarterly calendar and highlight those activities that are connected with your top five priorities. This simple exercise will reveal where you're squandering your time.If you can squirm out of even one regular meeting of little value, you start reclaiming your productive time.
(Meeting image by clagnut, CC2.0)