Being Guilty about Multi-Tasking

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January 14, 2009

During most of the meetings I attend, I tend to use my laptop for:

  1. Taking minutes of the meeting or;
  2. Taking notes or;
  3. Taking (action) items to work on in the future;
  4. Sharing presentations; etc.

It is not always necessary that all the topics during a meeting would be gathered towards my interest or my work habits. So, I would also use the opportunity to “Multi-Task” during the meetings. I would engage myself into other work related items including but not limited to:

  1. Reply to emails;
  2. Document tasks for another meeting;
  3. Work on items other than the ones being discussed during the meeting; etc.

Recently it was discussed that “Multi-Tasking” even though is a very difficult skill to find, it does not always work in the favor of the team as a whole. And I agree with the same and am guilty of “Multi-Tasking”.

Even though I enjoy the fact that I can respond to my emails faster than most of my collegues, I am guilty of the fact that “Multi-Tasking” during meetings is not always what is expected of a co-worker.

During the meeting or any other discussion, everyone is expected to listen to the speaker/presenter, entertain a healthy discussion and contribute towards making the meeting a success.

To adopt the meeting etiquettes, I have chosen to:

  1. Limit my craving to check emails to less than 3 times an hour (for not more than 5 minutes total)
  2. Limit my cell phone usage unless it is a network (IT) emergency
  3. Document meeting takeaways and learn something new from the meeting
  4. Stick with the 5 E’s (Efficient, Effective, Educational, Entertaining and Enriching) of an “An Ideal Meeting

I intend to follow this lifestyle for a meeting not as a short term goal but as a long term lifestyle for a corporate meeting environment. I am guilty of “Multi-Tasking” during meetings but have no regrets and no desire to return to my old informal lifestyle. I learn everyday and I am glad to share my experience as a “Life of a Knowledge Manager“.

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