Banning Blackberrys from meetings would lead to shorter and more effective meetings.
This is a remark by me when interviewed for Mark Lewis's article just published at Forbes.com, titled Ban Blackberrys! Mark does a good job of zeroing in on the deficiencies of multitasking, tying in my comments with those of Dave Crenshaw, the author of The Myth of Multitasking, and the results of the Stanford University study that show multitaskers are too easily distracted by irrelevant information.
As I also mentioned in that article, the number of meetings, with the time they consume, are one of the big complaints I get from clients who constantly struggle to fit everything into a day. It you take away the distractions of Blackberrys and other multitasking attempts, you could wrap things up more quickly and move on.
Joel, one of my networking friends sent me this comment in response to the publication of the article: Never get caught at a (Company Name) meeting with your phone or Blackberry working...You will be doomed, and managers tell us to leave them in our rooms so we do not get embarrassed. The fact that he works for a dot com company makes this even more interesting-or maybe that makes this company progressive enough to recognize the results.
Whether or not meetings are an issue in your schedule, review your time management skills and estimate the following:
- How much of each day are you actually fully present in the moment?
- How much of each day are you physically present while your mind is somewhere else?
Being present in the moment, giving someone or something your full attention, is becoming a rare situation and one that I think we need to begin to reverse. By doing so, you can be:
- More productive
- Be a better communicator
- Improve work life balance