Friday, July 24, 2015

I can't get over how much I dislike meetings at work

A former co-worker, Debbie Thornsberry, once informed me that during particularly long meetings, I developed a look that she dubbed "The Meeting Face."

The Meeting Face was (and, since presumably I still break it out from time to time, is) a mixture of boredom, fatigue and frustration at the inefficiency of the meeting process.

I've always thought of myself as a pretty patient person, but increasingly I'm starting to think I have some form of attention disorder that renders me uncooperative and disengaged about 27 minutes into any given meeting.

Please understand, this is not a reflection on any of my co-workers, who almost across the board are bright and talented people. They're not the problem.

The problem is that I have a hard time seeing the majority of meetings on my calendar as productive uses of my time.

Not because I think I'm some big shot, but mostly because meetings in my experience are repetitive, lacking in clear objectives, and mentally draining.

Much of what we accomplish in meetings could be solved quicker and more easily through one-on-one, face-to-face conversations, or sometimes (though this is obviously less personal) a simple email or two.

Maybe it's because, at any given time, I have a LOT on my to-do list. I need desk time. I like my co-workers, but every hour I spend with them is one fewer hour I have to get stuff done. If I don't get through my to-do list, I don't go home. And if I don't go home, I don't see my family. And if I don't see my family, I get cranky. And if I get cranky, I'll just drag down your meeting anyway.

Sometimes meetings are vital, I get that. But can we collectively agree to pick up the pace a little? And come in with a clear objective or two in mind? And keep things moving along without getting sidetracked in the manner of easily distracted woodland creatures?

Because if we can't, then I'm just boycotting the whole process. Want my opinion? Stop by my office. I would rather not sit in another beige conference room talking in circles with 11 other people.

I have much more to say on this subject, but I have to get to a meeting.

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