We're all guilty of it: the boss calls a team meeting during a busy time of the day. While you're waiting for things to get started, you surreptitiously check your email. Then you start replying. Before you know it, the meeting is in full swing and you're only half-listening as you continue to "multitask" on your phone or laptop. According to business website Entrepreneur, this is a terrible habit that we all need to break.
Entrepreneur recently named and shamed ten bad habits that we all need to eliminate from our daily routine. While most of the advice is obvious and well known (don't use screen-based technology in bed, don't check your phone mid-conversation), the one below really hit home for me:
You should never give anything half of your attention, especially meetings. If a meeting isn’t worth your full attention, then you shouldn’t be attending it in the first place; and if the meeting is worth your full attention, then you need to get everything you can out of it. Multitasking during meetings hurts you by creating the impression that you believe you are more important than everyone else.
This is something I'm definitely very guilty of. (In fact, I'm writing this story during our morning strategy meeting. No, really.)
In today's perpetually connected workplace, this is easier said than done: especially if it's a sudden meeting that you weren't expecting. It's also difficult to get out of meetings that aren't worth your time if your manager is the chief organiser. Nevertheless, you should definitely try to keep the phone and laptop switched off if you can help it: in addition to distracting you and others, your lack of focus is sure to be noted by your superiors.
You can check out the rest of Entrepreneur's bad habits that need to be culled here.