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Seasoned software Architect, a passionate Agile, Lean Practitioner and a successful trainer. Always inspired by innovative ideas and human behavior/psychology. Trying to find a balance between pragmatism and purity. Venkatesh is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 41 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Scattered Meeting Day Syndrome

09.05.2013
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image I have observed that the most unproductive day would be to have scattered meetings all throughout the day.  

For example:


  • 9- 9:30 AM   First meeting
  • 10 – 12  Second meeting
  • <Lunch break>
  • 2 – 2:30 Another meeting
  • 3 – 4  Last meeting of the day

After the first meeting, one would rush to get a coffee to prepare for the second one. By the time you grasp the second one, the bell rings for lunch. The day continues with meetings with a break of every half an hour, and end up with a pile of “real work” by 4 PM, causing too much stress. This leads to too many meetings syndrome

This is exactly what the Agilists dislike. In fact I have heard people saying that Scrum has too many meetings!   As per various research, the task switching could cost nearly 40 percent productivity loss.

Solution

Personally, I found that blocking a chunk of a day provides me the well deserved and dedicated focus.  Have others seen this happening?   Have you experienced this?  How do you deal with this scattered meeting syndrome?



Published at DZone with permission of Venkatesh Krishnamurthy, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Ian Mitchell replied on Thu, 2013/09/05 - 4:19am

You can try blocking out time on a rolling wave. Block out a certain number of hours (e.g. 4) a certain number of days (e.g. 3) ahead.

This allows you to get on with your work, and I'd say it's broadly fair. You've still left some time available for meetings at short notice, but without losing your whole day to the reactive talking shop. You've also left the field open for more thought-out meetings to be planned in advance (and justified if there seem to be scattergun inclusions).

Venkatesh Kris... replied on Thu, 2013/09/05 - 7:01am

Thanks Ian for the comments. Very thoughtful suggestion. 

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