From the Trenches

Dealing with Workplace Interruptions

Mike Sweeney | August 10, 2010

I’ve always been very critical of people who justify their existence based on the number of time slots they fill in a given week with “meetings”. If you looked at my calendar this week, it would show no more than 5 official meetings.  I’m not busy, right?  Quite the opposite.  This week will probably be a 60 hour week when all is said and done.  It’s just that I’ve made a conscious decision – based on real “work” load – that at least 45 of those hours will be dedicated to delivery of services, and not meeting time.

Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals, and author of Rework (which I need to read soon), sums up most of my feelings on the topic in the video below.  While I think he is further down the “no meetings” path than I am, he makes a lot of valid points.  In particular, the segment that resonates with me is the idea that our current workplaces are set up for interruptions, and those interruptions often completely destroy any momentum required to actually get “work” completed.

For the most part, our clients know that we don’t believe in face time for the sake of face time, but rather face time for the sake of getting something specific accomplished.  There is NO question that meetings, if planned and executed appropriately, can be far more effective than going back-and-forth via IM, email, or even phone calls.  In many cases though, meetings are often a selfish gesture on the part of the meeting organizer.

So put away your cell phone.   Shut down email.  Stop thinking about the next thing you need to do.  And by all means, pay attention to this video.


Related Posts:

  • Mike Sweeney | February 2, 2010

    You Don’t Need a Social Media Superhero

    “I hear you guys are the social media gurus in this area. Can you help us blow out our efforts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook?” These were seemingly innocent words from a prospective client, spoken just last week. As we dug a bit deeper, the red flags started flying. He wants help with social media […] read more

  • Mike Sweeney | December 29, 2008

    Outliers – Gladwell Does it Again

    I typically don’t like reading anything classified as a “business book”.  Sometimes these books are how-tos, and by page 10 I realize that I can’t possibly implement the “system” that the author is pushing.  Sometimes these books are success stories or autobiographies, and while I like a good story as much as the next guy, […] read more

  • Mike Sweeney | April 27, 2009

    Ad Agencies Look a Lot Different in 2009

    First, let me make something clear: I am not anti-ad agency.There are some very good ones out there, some of which Right Source Marketing does business with. I am, however, anti-ad agency when it comes to agencies that fall into the following categories: Agencies that have simply not adapted to new media, and fail to […] read more