The Time Thieves

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  • You've all heard me say this  before, but I will repeat that the greatest thief of time at work is meetings.  My smart-ass comment has been that if a meeting involves more than three people or lasts more than ten minutes somone's time is being wasted.  Especially wasteful are regularly scheduled meetings involving too many people who are not directly involved in the subject.  As a supervisor or manager I should be able to walk into your cubicle or office, ask a couple pertinent questions, and give suggestions and directions, and move on without disruption the progress of too many others.  That, of course, assumes that I already know enough about what you are doing, or are supposed to be doing.

    I know, that oversimplifies the whole issue, but it makes the point that meetings need to be wisely handled.   Especially in my last few years of employment it became the custom to have regularly scheduled meetingss of DBAs, developers, and QA folks that could consume the time of too many people, most of whom would not have anything to contribute or take away.

    Of course there are going to be times this is appropriate, such as larger group meetings ahead of major releases or changes or coordinating larger activities and company-wide information, but even in the case of releases and changes, most of the groundwork should already be done in small groups and short communications.  If I, as a manager or supervisor, know enough about what my staff is doing it should not take long to accomplish needed communications.   Then appropriate folks can work together as needed without interrupting the progress of too many others.

    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • Completely agree on meetings. They should be shorter and more focused where needed, eliminated where they aren't providing good value.

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