Technology’s effect on our everyday lives can’t be overstated. And considering all the minutiae it carries out for us — housing calendars, creating lists, taking notes, etc. — we’d be lost without technology on most days.But for all the convenience it brings, technology gives us the confidence to think we can competently do multiple things at once. For instance, think about taking your laptop into your most recent workplace meeting. You probably opened it up wanting to just take notes, but you were soon bombarded with a bunch of notifications, alerts, and emails that took you right out of the meeting and into whatever that notification, alert, or email said.Technology is just one thing of a million that can take an attendee’s head out of the flow of a meeting and to some other location. For all the good it does, it’s important to temper its use of during meetings to make the gathering — and yourself — as productive as possible.
Minimize Technical DifficultiesA Harris Poll for CareerBuilder noted that about a quarter of employees spend no less than an hour a day on technology-related distractions like personal emails. Time is precious in meetings, so curbing the temptation to get lost in your phone or computer is key.Use these three steps to set standards, add value, and reduce the human penchant for giving in to technical interruptions during meetings:
- Follow a DRI mentality. Steve Jobs had a lot of ideas; in fact, you’re probably reading or listening to something on one of them right now. But during his time at Apple, Jobs came up with the “DRI,” or directly responsible individual, approach, which gives each attendee a task or action item to carry out afterward.
- Make sure everyone has a “next step.” No one should leave a meeting without clearly understanding expectations and next steps. This may mean an end-of-meeting rehash, followed by a shared document that outlines everyone’s deadlines and duties. Not sure you covered everything during your conversation? Set up a follow-up while everyone is still in the room.
- Experiment with various formats. Your team is unique, so work with them to find the ideal meeting format. Perhaps it’s time-limited meetings or meetings that take place standing up.