Jake Trent

Limits Create Choices

With limited time and focus, you get to choose where to spend them.

These limits apply to many facets of life. How do they apply to meetings in particular?

Meeting Multitasking

We get choices to attend meetings every day. We can be there for a long time. The classic modern meeting hedge move is to bring your computer. Our computer sits in front of us and is a window into a million other things.

We give little focus to the meeting. It’ll happen. We may not care how. We’ll get out eventually. We really don’t do anything well during these periods. Why are we there?

Meeting Intensity

We attend a meeting and bring great focus. Our other issues can wait because we are here to contribute. We question, share, think, and learn. We do our best work. This will not happen without care and focus. We have cared enough to put down other things and spend our time and focus in this particular way for this period.

Finite and Valuable

Our focus is valuable. Once we realize that it’s not limitless, it becomes a resource to spend with care. It feels good to give it to something of value.

When we feel that our focus is wasted is when we can feel frustrated. We are invited to a meeting we aren’t ready to fully participate in but we go anyway. We feel compelled to be somewhere we’re not excited about, never bring ourselves to share the vision of the meeting, and go anyway.

And naturally, when we feel our focus and time is being wasted, we move to something else. Often, we multitask.

All In

When we commit we give our full focus and effort. We are present, we will feel good about spending our precious resources, and the results will be satisfying.

If we aren’t willing to fully engage, it may be best to fully disengage or postpone. Why do it halfway and slight all your efforts at once with split focus? We can drop those things, including meetings, that don’t meet the standard of value we place on our own focus and time.

How do you make this choice? How do you decide on the value of your own time and focus?