What’s the number one distraction we’re dealing with in the 21st century? That would be technology. While it’s necessary in today’s business world and typically makes our lives considerably easier, it can also hold us back if we let it.
On average, people check their phones roughly every 12 minutes. If you have a one-hour meeting, that’s 5 times someone picked up their phone; with 10 people in a meeting, you’ve lost around 50 minutes of your meeting across your team. And the problem isn’t only with phones. Tablets, laptops, watches, and everything else connected to the internet distracts us from what we’re there to do: get work done together.
How can you avoid these distractions and be more engaged during your meetings? Set some ground rules! Ask meeting participants to leave their technology at their workspace. Only one person, the facilitator, needs to use technology during your meetings, and that is to use Trello for tracking to-dos, WIGs, and talking points. One study suggests that simply having your technology nearby, even when turned off and ignored, could cause “brain drain,” a term used for limited “available cognitive capacity.” If that doesn’t make a case for leaving your tech at your desk, what does? How about longer meetings because someone was distracted and needed to catch up? Or missing out on a learning opportunity? Or, even worse, costing your company money because you missed something while on your phone? Ouch.
Ditch the distractions, especially during meetings. It can be difficult, but leaving tech at your desk during meetings can benefit you and your team. And with a clear mind, you might just get those meetings completed faster, learn something new, and turn a larger profit—who knows?