Please don’t say “I’ll give you time back”.

Scene: You’re in a meeting, typically on video. 16 faces looking at each other every week, talking about the same things. This week however, the conversation catalyst (aka chatty person) is missing, conversation drags on. The meeting is coming to a close. then… the chair of the meeting says those dreaded words…. “Thanks for joining. I’ll give you 30mins of your time back”.

Participant’s head: “This meeting is sooo long. It’s the same thing, over and over: status updates, problems, roadblock, owner, solution. When will it be over? I have lots of other things to be doing. Huh, I tuned out completely there, what did they say?” … “I’ll give you 30mins of your time back”. NOOOOO

It was not your time to give back. It was my time to begin with.

Writers of this site PLEAD with you. Don’t say “I’ll give you time back”. It’s rarely well received. There’s a sense of ownership to my time when it’s heard, like you’re giving me the gift of something that was mine already.


  • “Let’s cut it early. Thanks all for joining."_
  • “Glad this one ran short. Have a good rest of your day”_
  • “I want to respect your time, so lets end early”_

Inspired by: